Bars caught selling alcohol to underage teenagers

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Brought to you by the News Guardian.

A number of stores and pubs have been caught selling alcohol to underage teenagers.

As part of their continued crackdown on underage alcohol sales, Northumbria Police worked with Trading Standards officers to target 30 suspected establishments.

Nine shops and three pubs in North Tyneside and Northumberland were caught selling alcohol to a child volunteer aged under 18.

The staff responsible were issued with a £90 penalty notice.

Chief Inspector Steve Readdie said: “Shops and pubs selling alcohol have a responsibility to make sure they only sell to adults, those premises which fail to make the necessary checks on younger customers and flout the law must face the consequences.

“We know that under 18s who drink alcohol put their own safety at risk by making themselves vulnerable when they become drunk and are more likely to become a victim of crime and we are keen to stop that happening.

“These youngsters are also more likely to commit alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour.

“Our officers regularly visit all our off-licences to remind staff of their responsibility to make sure that alcohol is not bought by under 18s or bought by adults on behalf of children.”

“The majority of retailers in the area do abide by the law but for those who don’t, this operation will serve as a warning, that we are determined to tackle the issue.

“Those caught must bear the cost and it could lead to premises losing their licence if the problem persists.

“We take these matters very seriously and by intervening at an early stage it helps us prevent this behaviour escalating.”

Wendy Burke, North Tyneside’s Director of Public Health, said: “Tackling underage sales of alcohol across the borough is really important in protecting our young people from alcohol related harm.

“Drinking alcohol under the age of 18 is hazardous to health and evidence shows that it can cause damage to developing brains, bones and can affect hormone balance in young people.

“In North Tyneside we want to promote the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation that an alcohol free childhood is the healthiest and best option.”