Alcohol checks catch traders

SEVEN Ipswich businesses were caught selling alcohol to a 15-year-old, undercover checks revealed today.Police and trading standards carried out a month-long operation targeting off-licenses, supermarkets and pubs around the county.

SEVEN Ipswich businesses were caught selling alcohol to a 15-year-old, undercover checks revealed today.

Police and trading standards carried out a month-long operation targeting off-licenses, supermarkets and pubs around the county.

The intelligence-led crackdown, which ended on Wednesday, saw youngsters aged 15 attempt to buy alcohol from more than 50 premises in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Newmarket.

In Ipswich, seven of the 25 businesses visited sold alcohol to the underage buyer.


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Jill Korwin, assistant county trading standards officer, said she was disappointed at the figure.

She said: “More than a quarter of the places checked in Ipswich were willing to sell alcohol to young people, clearly below the legal age. This is simply not acceptable. It is the responsibility of both the licensee and the person selling the alcohol to ensure appropriate checks are carried out to confirm a person's age.

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“Follow up visits will be carried out and anyone found selling a second time will be considered for prosecution.”

In Lowestoft, 24 test purchases were made, with eight sales made, and a further nine in Newmarket, where three sales were made.

Simon Stevens, Suffolk police spokesman, warned there will be more checks to come.

He said: “Together with trading standards and the local licensing authority, we will take positive action to prevent any abuse of the Licensing Act.

”We would urge all staff at licensed premises to stamp out sales to underage drinkers.”

Traders visited were given practical advice and guidance to help them deal with the sale of age restricted products. They were warned they face prosecution if they do not heed the warnings.

Anyone who hasn't received an advice pack or would like further advice or assistance should contact Suffolk County Council's Trading Standards on 01473 581694.

n. Are you concerned about these figures? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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