News item

Three out of five fail underage alcohol sales test in Barrow

Trading Standards and the Police are working together to clamp down on the sale of alcohol to children. 
Yesterday in Barrow, a 14 year old volunteer visited five premises and was served alcohol on three occasions. Anyone selling alcohol to underage people are liable to an £80 fine and further offences could lead to a retailer losing their alcohol licence. Investigations into these sales are on-going.
The county wide operation kicked off in west Cumbria and will continue throughout the summer holidays.  The team are using underage volunteers to visit pubs and off licences to check the premises are complying with restricted products legislation.
Angela Jones, Trading Standards Service Manager for Cumbria County Council said: “We are surprised and disappointed that such a high proportion of retailers sold alcohol to the volunteer.  
"Re-visits will be carried out in the next few weeks and we continue to urge all retailers to check the ID of any young person attempting to buy alcohol, if in any doubt refuse the sale.
“Selling alcohol to children is irresponsible and is not acceptable. The police and trading standards will enforce the law in respect of under-age sales and will consider reviewing licences where appropriate.”

Inspector Martin Loebell, for Cumbria Constabulary, said: "It's very disappointing that some licensed premises continue to sell alcohol to underage people. It is irresponsible and can put the lives of young people in danger. I am pleased to note that some of the retailers were professional and requested ID, and I hope they will set an example for other businesses in the area.

“Underage drinking can lead to variety of problems, and we take the issue extremely seriously. Our advice is simple – check for identification, and if in doubt do not serve.”

Anyone with any information regarding the possible supply of alcohol, tobacco or other age restricted products to underage children can contact Trading Standards via the confidential Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.
If you have a child aged between 14 and 17 who would like to receive information on volunteering for under-age test purchasing, please contact Trading Standards on 01539 713594 or e-mail


DATE: 25 July 2013