Six out of seven Wisbech stores serve alcohol to children during police sting

POLICE have claimed that alcohol is freely available to children in Wisbech after six out of seven licensed premises served underage volunteers in a test operation.

Only one of the seven premises asked to see proof of age when youngsters tried to buy booze as part of last month’s sting, launched by Fenland’s anti-social behaviour and licensing team.

The six law-breaking premises were issued with penalty notices for disorder and provided with advice about how to avoid committing the same offence in future.

Sergeant Dave Bax, licensing officer for Fenland, has urged all of Wisbech’s premises to clean up their act or risk losing their licence.

He said: “We were very disappointed to discover that six of the seven premises failed our test purchase checks last month.

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“If the premises concerned had just asked the simple question ‘have you got any ID?’ they would not have made an illegal sale.

“The law requires that licensed premises operate an age verification policy so I will be working with colleagues and partners at Trading Standards to make sure that businesses understand this legal obligation.

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“Any premises found flouting the law next time may be subject to court action or have their licence reviewed.”

Persistent sales to children can result in closure and large fines. Adults who purchase alcohol for youngsters can also be fined.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards team, which supported the police operation, has urged businesses to use the Challenge 25 policy.

They can provide training, advice and a training pack on the scheme, which includes point of sale materials to display.

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