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Council calls time on underage drinking

31 October 2017

Pulling a pint.

Local pubs, bars and clubs are being warned that underage drinking will not be tolerated after 4 were caught serving alcohol to under 18s.

Ten licensed premises across the borough were targeted as part of test purchasing exercise earlier this month, which saw two 17-year-old volunteers attempting to buy alcohol at bars. Several of the premises were chosen due to allegations that underage sales were taking place.

The test purchases, conducted by Rochdale Borough Council's trading standards team in partnership with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), found that the underage volunteers were able to purchase bottled beers and fruit ciders from four of the ten premises without being asked for ID.

'The illegal and irresponsible underage sale of alcohol will not be tolerated'

It is a criminal offence to sell alcohol to anyone aged under 18, so investigations will now be conducted into the four premises and appropriate action taken. This could mean the premises receive warnings, cautions, prosecutions or license reviews, depending on their previous history and other intelligence.

'Act responsibly and help protect our young people from harm'

This test purchasing exercise is part of a council crackdown on underage sales. The council regularly tests both licensed premises and retail outlets to prevent dangerous age-restricted products such as alcohol, tobacco and knives being purchased by children.

Advice from the council's trading standards team is for businesses to operate a Challenge 25 policy, which means asking for photographic identification from anyone who appears to be under that age or if they are unsure of their age. Sales should only be made once ID has been produced that proves a customer is over 18.

Residents with concerns about any suspected supply of alcohol, tobacco or other age restricted products to underage children should report it via the confidential Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or visit Citizens Advice.

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