Underage drinking crackdown

By a County Press reporter

Friday, November 16, 2012

 

TWO Ryde bars and a pub and hotel in Shanklin sold alcohol to a 16-year-old after staff failed to get proof of age.

A joint police and Isle of Wight Council trading standards "juvenile test purchase" operation resulted in penalty notices being issued to staff responsible and to the business owners.

A further four pubs and two shops were tested, but staff checked for proof of the customer's age and refused the sale. They included three public houses which had previously failed a test purchase.

Isle of Wight Council regulatory services manager Amanda Gregory said: "It is very disappointing these four premises failed test purchase operations.

"The council works very closely with the police and we take a very dim view on any business that fails these operations, whether it be for selling alcohol, knives, tobacco or any other age-restricted product.

"We will be working with the businesses concerned to remind them of the law and offer advice and guidance to ensure under-age sales are not repeated.

"However, the very point of these exercises is to stamp out any illegal under-age sales, and we would hope the shock of being caught and fined will make staff be more proactive and ask for ID from anyone who looks under-rage"

Licensing Sergeant Mark Voller said: "The consequences for licensees who fail to address this issue are serious. Police may impose a closure order on any premises which persistently sell alcohol to young people. In addition, authorities may call for the premises licence to be reviewed.

"Such ready sale of alcohol to youths in local bars demands that we step-up these test operations.

"To prevent illegal sales bar staff must carry out ID checks in line with the 'proof of age' policy operating on the premises.

"We also advise younger customers over the age of 18 to obtain suitable proof of ID, such as a PASS card, to be produced each time they buy alcohol.''

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