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News Release

Cracking down on illegal alcohol sales

Dated: 16 Feb 2012

Police and Trading Standards officers in North Tyneside are still finding off-licences selling alcohol to children.

Officers from Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Policing Team working with North Tyneside Council's Trading Standards officers carried out the latest test purchase operation using a 15-year-old female volunteer.

Eight stores were tested, with three selling wine to the 15-year-old. Staff at Snax 24 on Earsdon Road, Shiremoor, Local Store on Percy Road, Whitley Bay, and Sainsbury's on Park View, Whitley Bay, were all issued with Fixed Penalty Notices.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Mal Wallace said: "We know children who drink alcohol are more likely to become involved in anti-social behaviour which causes problems for the wider community.

"We also know these young people are made vulnerable themselves when they drink and may also become involved in crime or become victims of crime themselves.  This is why we take this issue seriously and work with our partners to deal with it.

"Members of staff found selling alcohol to children will be hit in their pockets with a fine and reminded about their responsibility to always ask for proof of age for younger looking customers.

"Officers regularly visit all our off-licences to remind staff of their responsibility to make sure that alcohol is not bought by under 18s or bought by adults on behalf of children. Adults who do buy drink for children are committing an offence and those identified will be arrested and dealt with."

Cllr George Westwater, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services at North Tyneside Council, said: "The sale of alcohol to youngsters not only causes crime and disorder but makes the young people themselves vulnerable and at risk.

"Our team will continue to carry out test purchase operations with Northumbria Police to ensure retailers are acting responsibly and complying with their responsibilities."

Anyone who has information about shops selling alcohol to children is asked to contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101.