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Preston pubs and bars fail underage drinking test

Posted on - 11th July, 2023 - 8:43pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Lancashire Police, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Pubs
Person holding alcoholic drink in club Pic: Aurélien from Pixabay
11 premises were visited and five sold alcohol to 16-year-old test purchasers Pic: Aurélien from Pixabay

Preston Police have carried out a test purchasing operation at pubs and bars in the City Centre.

The tests were part of Operation Centurion, the force’s commitment to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Working alongside Lancashire Trading Standards and the Lancashire Police Cadets, 11 premises were visited.

Five sold alcohol to 16-year-old test purchasers, with staff failing to follow the Check 25 age verification policy that premises have in place.

Bar staff who completed the sale were issued with £90 fixed penalty notices and multi-agency inspections will now take place at the premises.

Premises that failed will be re-tested in the future, and if they fail a second time, they risk a review of the Premises Licence along with prosecution for persistently selling alcohol to children.

Read more: Police put Preston city centre into high alert following youth disturbances

PC Ste Connelly, from Preston’s Licensing team, said: “Children accessing alcohol often results in anti-social behaviour and criminality and these test purchasing operations will help to tackle issues within our communities.

“I would like to remind Licensed Premises of their obligation to protect children from harm and encourage them to consider refresher training for staff ahead of the school holidays. There will be further test purchasing in the coming months and those premises that failed will be revisited.”

County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “These test purchase operations are a key part of our plans to protect the health of young people, and to reduce the burden of drinking on our communities. We will not tolerate anyone selling alcohol to underage children in Lancashire.

“Our Trading Standards Team and Police colleagues work with businesses to ensure they comply with the law and act responsibly.

“Five failures out of eleven premises is a shocking statistic, and further test purchases will be carried out in the future with action taken against those choosing not to take their legal responsibilities seriously.

“Anyone wishing to report a business for selling age restricted products to young people under the age of 18 should ring our Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.”

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