Shops sold alcohol to 15-year-old

TWO borough shops have been caught selling alcohol to a teenager.

Officers from Wallsend neighbourhood policing team carried out a joint operation with North Tyneside Council’s Trading Standards officers using a 15-year-old volunteer.

They visited six stores with two selling alcohol to the volunteer without asking for proof of age.

Staff at Drinks Express, on the Coast Road, and Best One Stores in High Street East, were each hit in the pocket with an £80 fixed penalty notice.

Inspector David Guthrie, from the Wallsend policing team, said: “Dealing with under-age drinking is an on-going issue for the police and wider community.

“We are determined to tackle this problem by paying regular visits to licensed premises to remind staff of their responsibilities.

“They must ask their younger looking customers for proof of age before selling them alcohol.

“If they don’t and a child is sold drink then they can be fined.

“We’re pleased that most stores we visited did refuse to sell to this teenager, but this operation shows we still need to continue to test shop staff.”

Police said youth disorder is often alcohol-fuelled and preventing children from drinking booze helps reduce this and anti-social behaviour.

Coun George Westwater, cabinet member for regulatory services, added: “It’s disappointing that these premises illegally sold alcohol to young people.

“The sale of alcohol to youngsters can make them vulnerable and at risk of harm as well lead to crime and disorder within the community.

“Our trading standards officers will continue to work closely with Northumbria Police to stamp out illegal sales within the borough.”

If any residents believe a shop is selling alcohol to children, they are asked to contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 03456 043043 ext 69191.