23/08/2012 - Permalink

Success for Shrewsbury retailers – no alcohol sales to under-18s

Related topics: Health / My area

Shropshire Council’s public protection and enforcement officers have undertaken a test purchasing exercise to see if any retailers in Shrewsbury were willing to sell alcohol to children under 18 – and it was a great success.

Officers coordinated the exercise using a male volunteer aged 17.  A total of 11 premises were visited and no sales were made.

The public protection and enforcement team places a high priority on preventing illegal sales of alcohol to children, and the service views the latest results as extremely promising in the ongoing work against such sales.

Sally Jones, one of the officers involved in the exercise, said:

“All of the retailers who refused to sell to the volunteers asked for identification and most were seen recording the refusal in an appropriate refusals log book.”

The public protection and enforcement team entirely supports the approach taken by the retailers in these cases and encourages retailers to do this for all alcohol and other age-restricted products that young people attempt to buy.

Asking for identification with proof of age is the only way to be absolutely sure of a child’s age and to avoid making illegal sales of alcohol.  Retailers are urged to adopt a challenge “25 policy” to ensure they do not sell to young people who are under 18 but appear older than their actual age.  The “25 policy” requires anyone who appears under 25 to prove they are 18.

Frances Darling, service manager for public protection and enforcement, said:

“I am delighted with the results of this exercise.  However, it remains our intention to continue working with partners to ensure illegal sales of alcohol and other age-restricted products to children are prevented across the county, and particularly to assist in the reduction of alcohol induced anti-social behaviour.”

Shropshire Council’s cabinet member responsible for public protection and enforcement, Councillor Steve Charmley, added:

“It would appear, from the results of the latest test purchasing exercise, that Shrewsbury’s retailers are seriously doing their bit to prevent youngsters from obtaining alcohol illegally.  They should be rightly proud of this success.”

Further notes

The children have full parental permission to be involved in the test purchasing exercise.

For more information on proof of age cards contact Sally Jones, public protection and enforcement team, on 01743 254156.

The Licensing Act 2003 makes it an offence to sell alcohol to a minor.