Several shops sell alcohol to child in test purchase operation
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Officers from the licensing team took part in a test purchase operation on Saturday (22 July) where a teenager attempted to buy alcohol from eight off-licences spread across Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham.
A shop in Gloucester and a shop in Tewkesbury allowed the 14-year-old test purchaser to buy booze and therefore failed. The other six off-licences refused to sell alcohol to the child.
As part of the operation the test purchaser is always careful not to lie about their age and does not produce any ID if asked.
Such operations allow police to ensure that the shops are meeting their objective under the Licensing Act to ‘prevent children coming to harm’ and enforce any breaches through education, letters or warnings, tickets or taking the premise to review in certain circumstances.
The maximum fine for selling or supplying alcohol to children is £5,000. Personal licences can be suspended or forfeited on a first offence. The fine increases to £20,000 for persistently selling alcohol to children. Alternatively, the premises may be prevented from selling alcohol for a period of 48 hours to two weeks.