The Home Office has once again bashed independent retailers and supermarkets for not doing enough to combat sales of alcohol to underage consumers, based on the latest test purchasing figures.

You can't help but feel that it is everyone's responsibility to address this problem, so threats of a big stick from the government miss the point.

It is clear retailers are working hard to fight this menace, as evidenced by the number supporting the Challenge 21 campaign to discourage selling alcohol to those who look under 21. And even the independent sector has expressed their disappointment with the latest figures.

If the results of the May-June campaign show little marked improvement, the authorities must look to their own corner as well, rather than just apportioning blame. After all, until a single identity card scheme is introduced, retailers remain in a weak position.

By working together and resisting a blame culture, everyone can clamp down on this issue once and for all.