Operation carried out at licensed premises

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A successful test purchase operation took place in Northampton.

Two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, accompanied undercover officers on the operation, which saw licensed premises across the town centre checked to make sure they are not selling alcohol to underage people.

Out of the 16 premises checked (both Pubs and Off-licenses), three sold alcohol.

The operation, which took place on Friday June, 22, is part of the Force’s on-going work to tackle violence across the county.

The teenagers also attempted to gain access to five bars/nightclubs in the town centre but were refused entry after being asked for ID at the door.

Licensing Sergeant Mark Worthington said this type of operation is important to ensure that premises are complying with the law regarding underage sales of alcohol.

Sgt Worthington said: “I am pleased that so many of our licensed premises are taking their responsibilities seriously and checking the age of the people who are requesting to buy alcohol or gain entry to a nightclub.

“However, three premises did sell to underage children. The three people who sold the alcohol were issued with a Penalty Notice for Disorder - an £80 fine.

“If a license holder them self is found selling alcohol to underage people they could face a criminal conviction and a fine. If a licensee is found to be persistently selling to children they face a fine of up to £20,000 or a two week suspension of their license, as well as the probability that their licence will be reviewed.

“I would urge all licensees to make sure their staff adopt the Challenge 21 approach. That is, if a buyer looks to be under the age of 21, ask to see their ID for them to prove they are 18 or over.”

Tackling violence is the number one priority for Northamptonshire Police, including alcohol related violence, and these types of operations are just one of the ways the Force is working to do this.

Sgt Worthington added: “We organise test purchase operations such as this regularly and will continue to do so. It is vital that licensees across the county play their part in reducing the opportunities underage people have to illegally buy alcohol.

“Young people who get intoxicated are more susceptible to become involved in crime or antisocial behaviour either as a victim or an offender. In addition young people cannot cope with the effects of alcohol, their bodies are not fully developed and it can have long term adverse medical consequences”