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Carlisle licensed premises fail underage test purchase

[L]ast week three premises failed a test purchase operation carried out in Carlisle by Cumbria Constabulary, Carlisle City Council and Trading Standards.

The operation was carried out on the evening of Friday 3rd November and tested the licensed premises on challenging alcohol purchasers for identification.

Six premises passed the test, they were:

  • Leo Mini Market
  • The Local
  • Hayhurst Newsagent
  • Nasza Biedronka
  • House of Vodka
  • Bargain Booze, Harraby

The three premises that failed were issued with fixed penalty notices of £90 apiece.

PC Mike Watson said: “I would like to congratulate those premises on passing this operation. They all challenged the test purchaser and refused sale when they could not supply appropriate identification.

“For those that failed this test, they were issued with fixed penalty notices and will be retested in the future. We will continue to support these traders with educating their staff on the importance of challenging those that seek to purchase alcohol whilst under the legal age.

“All licence holders and premises supervisors in Cumbria should take note and ensure that their staff are challenging those who they suspect are under the legal age to purchase alcohol. There are always those who look older than their age but it is important for staff to do the right thing and make sure that those who are purchasing alcohol are of age.

“We will continue to conduct operations like this and work closely with traders to ensure compliance with the law. These undercover checks form a vital part of ensuring compliance.

“Our advice to all people employed in licensed premises is to be vigilant, always challenge young adults for ID, never try to guess someone’s age, check the ID carefully and make a record of any refusals.”

Nicola Edwards, Licensing Manager at Carlisle City Council, said: “Whilst we applaud the premises that challenged the test purchasers and refused to sell alcohol to them, it is disappointing when any licensed premises fails this test.

“We treat the sale of alcohol to children seriously and the Licensing Authority will be in contact with the premises that failed the test to ensure that they adopt robust procedures supported by adequate staff training in order to prevent this happening again.

“Test purchasing will continue throughout Carlisle so I would like to remind all licensed premises of their responsibility to promote the four licensing objectives and operate an age verification policy such as Challenge 21 or Challenge 25.”

John Greenbank, Cumbria County Council Trading Standards Manager, said: “It is very disappointing that some licensees are still flouting the law and failing to ask for ID- and then selling alcohol to underage young people.

“Alcohol consumption by young teenagers has a profound detrimental effect on their own health and on their communities, with a direct link between alcohol and anti-social behaviour.

“It is clear that there is still work to be done and our Trading Standards officers will continue to work with the police to tackle the problem of underage sales and deal firmly with business who break the law.”

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