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Testing Time for Underage Alcohol Sales

Press release   •   Aug 28, 2014 10:19 BST

Five businesses have been caught selling alcohol to under 18s during a test purchasing exercise run by Rochdale Borough Council’s public protection team.

On 19 and 20 August, two volunteers aged 17 attempted to buy the age restricted products from 20 premises across the borough.

In Rochdale nine shops were targeted, with three illegal sales made, in Middleton and Heywood six shops were targeted with two sales made and in Pennine five shops targeted produced no illegal sale. Some of the shops that sold alcohol were supposedly operating a ‘Challenge 25’ policy, where anyone who appears to be under 25-years-old should be asked for ID. In the two day survey, 13 of the shops visited requested identification from the underage volunteers when they attempted to purchase the age restricted products.

Criminal investigations against the five retailers will now begin

Councillor Cecile Biant, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Regulation, said: “Rochdale Borough Council takes any breach of the law regarding underage alcohol sales very seriously. We hope this sends the message out to retailers that selling age restricted products to children will not be tolerated.”

As part of the Safe 4 Summer Campaign, the premises targeted were those in hotspot areas identified as having issues with anti-social behaviour, as well as premises that the public protection team had received alleged complaints regarding sales of alcohol to those who are underage.

As part of the battle against alcohol being sold to children, Rochdale Public Protection Services have been conducting underage sales surveys throughout the borough.  The service carries out regular test purchasing exercises to ensure traders are complying with the law relating to the sale of age restricted goods.

To report any suspected underage sales please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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