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Off licences and pubs put to the test

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A number of pubs and off licences in the Porthcawl and Bridgend area have been caught selling alcohol to an underage youngster during a recent joint test purchase operation.

South Wales Police teamed up with Trading Standards and the UK Borders Agency to conduct a test purchase operation which involved a volunteer visiting 4 pubs and 6 off-licences in Porthcawl and Bridgend, attempting to buy alcohol.

9 of the 10 premises tested passed the operation, challenging the volunteer to present ID or refusing to serve them at all. The one premises that didn’t pass was issued with a fixed penalty notice. The operation was part of an ongoing commitment by the Safer Bridgend Neighbourhood Team to prevent alcohol being made available to young people under the age of 18 years.

Following the operation, Superintendent Paul James said: “South Wales Police works very closely with the licensing trade but when we receive intelligence or concerns from the community that standards at a premises are not being maintained, or that young people are obtaining alcohol from licensed premises, we will take action alongside our colleagues from Trading Standards and the UK Borders Agency.

He added: “It is a proven fact that the misuse of alcohol is a factor in leading young people to behave in an antisocial manner and those businesses that have a licence to sell alcohol have a responsibility to ensure that the conditions of that licence and the law are upheld”.

“It is encouraging that most of the shops and pubs visited passed the test and didn’t sell any alcohol to the volunteer. However it is extremely disappointing that one of the ten tested didn’t ask for ID and went on to sell alcohol to in effect, a child”.

“I would encourage all off-licences to challenge anyone who looks underage to provide ID, and if they just aren’t sure, asking for ID is the best way to ensure that you’re selling alcohol to people of over the legal age of 18.

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