News item

Trading standards keep tabs on alcohol retailers

Cumbria trading standards has praised shops in west Cumbria after a covert operation with the police saw all of the off licences visited refusing to sell alcohol to underage customers. 

The undercover operation was conducted to test compliance with age restricted products legislation and took place on the 30 May 2014. 

A total of 10 off licence premises were visited; five in Egremont, three in Cockermouth and two in Cleator Moor. The retailers scored a 100 per cent refusal rate. 

Anyone selling alcohol to underage people is liable to an £90 fine and further offences could lead to the shop losing their alcohol licence. 

Mike Smyth, Cumbria Public Protection Manager, said: "I am pleased to see that all of retailers tested complied with their legal obligations. 

"The exercise will be repeated over the coming weeks, so I’d remind businesses that they should ask for identification that proves a person is 18-years or older, such as a passport, driving license or proof of age card, before selling age restricted products to young people. Additionally I would warn businesses to be vigilant and to challenge any adults who may be purchasing alcohol on behalf of an underage person. 

"Our staff work closely with traders to ensure compliance with the law throughout the year and these undercover checks form a vital part of ensuring compliance." 

PC Kenny MacLeod from Cumbria Constabulary said: "I am pleased to see that all the premises involved refused to sell alcohol to underage people. Selling alcohol to those who are underage is irresponsible and causes problems. These businesses have set an example and we hope that other will follow this high standard. Our advice is simple – check for identification, and if in doubt do not serve.” 

Anyone with any information regarding the possible supply of alcohol to underage people can let Cumbria trading standards know by contacting the consumer helpline on 0345 4040 506. 

Media enquiries to communications adviser John Ballard on 01228 221752  

DATE: 4 June 2014