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Rochdale businesses pass underage tests

19 September 2018

Councillor Sara Rowbowtham and Trading Standards Senior Officer Najma Tayab.

All businesses in the borough of Rochdale visited by underage mystery shoppers in July 2018 passed sales tests carried out by us.

We carried out sales exercises to test the traders' compliance with asking for age identification when selling alcohol.

21 businesses across the borough were visited by underage volunteers attempting to buy alcohol. The volunteers were accompanied by officers from the council's public protection service that assessed the businesses' procedures.

The exercise saw 19 out of 21 traders ask the underage customers for their age, with 13 of those asking for identification to confirm the age given. The other 2 businesses were closed at the time of the visit. As a result none of the traders carried out an underage sale, meaning they didn't face the potential penalties of a written warning, a caution or prosecution.

Councillor Sara Rowbotham, our Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "It's really important for the health and wellbeing of our young people that businesses take their duty to be responsible seriously.

"We are very pleased to see that all premises tested passed and we encourage any businesses that are not yet signed up to our Responsible Retailers scheme to do so."

Rochdale's public protection team encourages traders to operate Challenge 25, which means traders are expected to ask for photographic ID from anyone who appears to be under 25 years old. Once a customer has produced valid ID, which proves they are old enough to purchase the item, they can make their purchase.

The Challenge 25 process is part of our Responsible Retailers scheme. Traders are asked to sign up to the scheme to show their commitment to ensuring responsible sales of age-restricted products.