26 May 2011
Youngsters from Caerphilly's Youth Forum have teamed up with the council's Trading Standards team to help prevent the underage sale of alcohol in the county borough.
Members of the Youth Forum have been volunteering to act as 'test purchasers', working alongside Trading Standards and Gwent Police to ensure that licence holders are working within the law regarding the underage sale of alcohol.
One of the Youth Forum's current priorities for this year is 'Challenging peer pressure to say 'No' to alcohol and drugs', and as part of this, they wanted to become involved in challenging the underage sale of alcohol in Caerphilly county borough.
Having given a presentation to the council's Health, Social Care and Well Being Scrutiny Committee, members were keen to support the Youth Forum's interest in the work of Trading Standards, and together with Youth Champion, Cllr Mike Prew, arranged for the youngsters to take part in test purchasing enforcement activities alongside Trading Standards and Gwent Police.
Youth Champion, Cllr Mike Prew said, "I am delighted that the young people involved with Caerphilly's Youth Forum are so keen to get involved in helping to tackle the underage sale of alcohol in Caerphilly county borough. By becoming volunteer 'test purchasers' they are able to help make a real difference, and help ensure that alcohol does not get into the hands of under 18's".
Trading Standards respond to all complaints they receive that shops, pubs or clubs are selling alcohol to people under the age of 18. The premises will receive a test purchase visit from Trading Standards Officers to investigate whether the complaint is justified.
Cllr Rob Gough, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said, "While the vast majority of alcohol sellers in our county borough do act responsibly and make sure they don't sell alcohol to those under the age of 18, there are a very small minority of sellers who do not take as much care".
He continued, "We take a tough stance on this small minority, who may by subject to a number of enforcement actions, including prosecution and a possible review of their licence to sell alcohol".
Over the last financial year, 4% of 'off' licences that received a test purchase visit made a sale. The figure for 'on' licences was higher, with 22% making a sale when visited by test purchase volunteers.
To report a premises selling alcohol to people under the age of 18, please call Trading Standards on 01495 235 291.
For further information on the Youth Forum in Caerphilly county borough, please call 01443 863292.
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