County police launch Christmas crackdown on licensed premises

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Northamptonshire Police has launched a focused operation in the run-up to Christmas, working with partner agencies in licensing enforcement.

The initiative involves a number of activities, including checking that on and off-licences are trading within the law, test purchasing to clamp down on underage drinking, ensuring pubs and clubs are not selling to those who are drunk or underage and using the knife arch and drugs dogs.

Sergeant Mark Worthington said: “We’ve been carrying out the initiative across the county, for example in Wellingborough we carried out test purchasing with plain clothes officers and three underage young people visiting seven premises – alcohol was sold at one off licence.

“Meanwhile, in Northampton we have visited 33 premises and two pubs and one off-licence have sold to underage customers.

“We’ve also carried out 22 police only and 16 multi-agency visits with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, local authority licensing officers and environmental health at pubs and clubs in Northampton, with only a handful of minor issues to be dealt with by our partner agencies.”

“I’d like to send out a very clear message to licensees – we are running these types of operation across the county in the daytime, evenings and weekends.

“We look to work in partnership with the trade but if we have to use our powers of enforcement we will have no hesitation in doing so.

“It is really pleasing that the majority of licensees are upholding the licensing objectives, they are running their premises well.

“However, we will continue to use all means available to us to identify those that are not and deal with them appropriately whether it be through prosecution or a review of their licence before the licensing committee.”