Four out of every 10 licensed premises targeted in a crackdown on underage sales have sold alcohol to youngsters, according to Suffolk trading standards officers.

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Visits have been made to pubs and off-licences in the county over the past eight months as part of an ongoing campaign by trading standards, police and licensing authorities.

The results have led to concerns that some licensees are continuing to sell alcohol to underage youngsters.

One landlord and landlady, David and Deborah Atkinson of The Three Mariners in Trimley St Martin, have had their licences taken away after alcohol was persistently sold to youths.

An initial test purchase took place at the pub in February last year, following intelligence received that drink was being sold to under 18s.

During the visit alcohol was sold to 16 and 17 year olds by Mr Atkinson, who was issued with an £80 on-the-spot fine.

A follow-up test purchase carried out in May resulted in alcohol again being sold to two 17-year-old volunteers without any challenge for ID.

Following these sales, a licensing sub committee revoked the premises’ licence.

Due to the seriousness of two sales, the Atkinsons were prosecuted for persistently selling alcohol. Both pleaded guilty before Ipswich magistrates.

David Atkinson was fined £577 plus a £20 victim surcharge and had his personal licence revoked.

Mrs Atkinson received a conditional discharge for one year and was ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge, along with £200 costs. She also had her personal licence suspended for six months.

Speaking about the alcohol crackdown Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “These figures are concerning but also demonstrate that the campaign using the intelligence we receive and is targeting the right premises.

“The Three Mariners case demonstrates that through on the spot fines, licence reviews and prosecution, any premises which continues to sell alcohol to under 18s, despite the advice given, will face appropriate but robust enforcement action.”

Trading Standards & Suffolk Police are urging licensees to be particularly vigilant for under 18s attempting to buy alcohol.

Prompts such as stickers on till points can act as a useful prompt for staff to check identification or seek authorisation from another member of staff.

Should anyone have intelligence on premises selling alcohol to under 18s they can report this anonymously to

Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06

7 comments

  • with all the drugs etc on the streets does this really matter they can drink at home.how many underage drinkers have they caught driving on our roads.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  • Bet these obnoxious little 1617 year old volunteers are those weird people that everyone hated at school. Going out and trying to ruin someone's business and to make life difficult for your peer group isn't something to be proud of or something that society should be thankful for in my view.

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    john2012

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  • Terence... The 6 months starts from when ever he does get a licesne. Doh

    Report this comment

    John Smith

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

  • thanks john smith , i do like your extra smooth. happy new year to all the surfers.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

  • I have absolutely no problem with the idiots at the 3 mariners losing their license for this. They deserved everything they got. But I DO get the feeling that shops selling booze to kids tend to be treated rather more leniently. And it's very much the dodgy shops that are where kids predominantly get their booze.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  • pt 2 what makes me smile you cannot comment on the 20 year old from the chantry crashing his dads car . banned from driving for six months [ he has no licence.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  • The Three Mariners, drive past it regularly and during opening hours it always looks empty. Always wonder how these places survive, now we know.

    Report this comment

    Silly Uncle Fred

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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