Crackdown on alcohol sales to kids

A COVERT crackdown to prevent youngsters getting their hands on alcohol illegally has led to two Ipswich shop workers being fined.Trading standards' officers today said the pair, who worked for separate businesses, served a teenager working with undercover officers.

A COVERT crackdown to prevent youngsters getting their hands on alcohol illegally has led to two Ipswich shop workers being fined.

Trading standards' officers today said the pair, who worked for separate businesses, served a teenager working with undercover officers.

The officers and the boy, who is in his mid teens, went to 18 pubs, supermarkets and off licences in Ipswich, but were only able to purchase alcohol in two of them.

Although Adam Barnes, a spokesman for Suffolk County Council's trading standards' department, said officers would not be naming the culprits, he added the workers who sold the liquor were each given a fixed penalty of £80 by police.


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Mr Barnes said officers were pleased the majority of businesses refused to let the youth buy booze.

He said: “It's quite encouraging. The number (who sold alcohol to the youngster) is quite low. We have an officer going into the premises and another walks with the young person to the door and he is supervised from a safe distance by the officer in the shop.”

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In addition to the fixed penalties given to staff, the licensees of the premises which broke the law also received a formal caution from police.

Mr Barnes warned traders there would be more undercover checks carried out in the future.

Last weekend's crackdown came after a number of checks were made across Suffolk at Christmas and found that despite advice and guidance being sent out, many off licences still sold alcohol to teenagers under 18.

Earlier this month police and trading standards' officers had warned licensees through the media that information given to them by members of the public would be used to target supermarkets, off licences and pubs.

If anyone has concerns about a business they think is selling alcohol to young people they can contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

N What do you think should be done to prevent underage drinking? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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