STING operations are being launched in West Yorkshire to catch shopkeepers who sell alcohol to under-18s.
A team of young people will be recruited as claims are made of a `disturbing' rise in under-age sales.
Shop owners who are caught face fines of up to £5,000 and the possibility of losing their licence.
Huddersfield councillor Tony Brice, a member of West Yorkshire's Trading Standards Committee, said a minority of retailers were ignoring the law.
He said: "It is obvious that a very strong link exists between drunken youths and the anti-social and nuisance behaviour that plagues many of our communities.
"It is therefore important that alcohol is not allowed to fall into the wrong hands."
A region-wide operation will be carried out by trading standards officers and police between now and Christmas. The crackdown comes as new figures show 478 reports of under-age sales in West Yorkshire in the last 12 months.
Fifty-three were in Kirklees.
West Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable David Crompton said: "People avoid their local off-licence or shop because of the groups of youths who gather and drink outside.
"We and our partners, such as trading standards, will target irresponsible retailers and ensure they don't continue to serve people under age."