Shops across Preston at risk after selling alcohol to 15-year-old test purchaser

Posted on - 13th February, 2024 - 8:09pm | Author - | Posted in - Broadgate, Business, Crime, Health, Lancashire Police, Preston City Centre, Ribbleton
Alcohol bought by a tester at shops in Preston
Alcohol bought by a tester at shops in Preston

Six premises tested as part of a joint operation across Preston failed and sold alcohol to a 15-year-old, police have said.


Lancashire Constabulary tested 12 premises on Saturday night (February 10) in collaboration with Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council.

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Of the 12, six shops failed the test and sold alcohol to the operation’s 15-year-old test purchaser. The people on the tills were immediately issued with £90 fixed penalties. The owners of the businesses will now have their premises licence reviewed.

Read more: Man taken to hospital after incident on Avenham Park

Police said their test purchasers do not lie about their age or otherwise attempt to disguise it if challenged.


A spokesperson for police said: “On Saturday night, Police Licensing, Preston City Council Licensing and Lancashire County Council Trading Standards conducted alcohol and tobacco test purchasing across Broadgate, City Centre and Ribbleton. A total of twelve premises were tested as part of this operation, nine of which hold a licence to sell alcohol.

“Of these premises six failed and sold alcohol to our 15-year-old test purchaser, one other premises sold a vape to the same test purchaser which led to an inspection where approximately two hundred illicit vapes were seized. The Cashiers who sold alcohol were all issued with £90 fixed penalties, the owners of the business now risk a review of their Premises Licence.

“During our test purchasing operations, our test purchasers do not deceive or disguise their age and if challenged tell cashiers how old they are.

PC Ste Connolly, from Police Licensing, added: “This level of failure rate is unacceptable for Licensed Premises and particularly concerning when free training on age related sales is available to premises. All licensed premises have an obligation to promote the Protection of Children from Harm and those that fail to promote this risk, at worst revocation of the licence should a review be undertaken.”

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