28 February 2012
Three pubs across Caerphilly county borough sold alcohol to a fourteen year old volunteer test purchaser during a recent multi-agency operation aimed at tackling the underage sale of alcohol.
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Trading Standards Service teamed up with officers from Gwent Police for the operation, which saw three of the nine premises visited serve alcohol to the test purchase volunteer.
Penalty Notices of £80 were issued on the night to the sellers at each of the three premises – investigations are now underway in respect of further action against the owners of the businesses.
Cllr Rob Gough, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said, "In addition to committing offences themselves, those who sell alcohol to those underage are indirectly also contributing to wider community problems including anti-social behaviour".
He continued, "I would point out that the vast majority of our local licensees do take their responsibilities seriously, and actively work alongside us to promote responsible alcohol sales. However there does remain a very small minority who are irresponsible in their approach, and our Trading Standards and Licensing Officers will continue to work alongside our partners at Gwent Police on operations and other enforcement activity to ensure they do not get away with it".
Caerphilly Partnership Sergeant, Rob Davies says: "Businesses taking advantage of children by supplying with them with alcohol is a matter taken very seriously by Gwent Police. This recent Test Purchase Operation shows the lengths that partners will go to identify offenders. We can not emphasise enough the damage that Gwent Police deals with on a daily basis because of inappropriate consumption of alcohol - this includes anti-social behaviour and violence. We want to drive down this offending and an important method is to protect our young people from unscrupulous people in the licensing trade."
Maria Evans, Lead Officer for the Substance Misuse Action Team, part of the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, said: "We continue to fully support the work carried out tackling the illegal sale of alcohol to young people.. Young people who drink alcohol can be extremely vulnerable and put themselves at risk of serious physical and emotional injury while under the influence of what can be a dangerous and damaging drug".
She continued, "Alcohol misuse among all age groups remains a top priority for all partners of the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership and we are committed to working together to tackle this issue and its wider effect on the community. We hope that the outcome of this recent operation sends a strong message to anyone who considers selling alcohol to someone they suspect may be underage, or to someone they suspect of purchasing on behalf of someone underage."
If you or someone you know is aged between 10 and 18 and is concerned about substance misuse, confidential support and advice is available by calling free phone 0808 168 7176 or Dan 24/7 on 0806 33 55 88.
To report a pub or shop for selling alcohol to under 18's please call Trading Standards on 01495 235069.
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