Call for review after booze is sold to teens
TWO underage teenagers bought cans of cider from an off-licence without being challenged – prompting police to ask for a licence review.
The young volunteers were working with police and Trading Standards officers on an undercover sting operation at Bargain Booze, in Furlong Road, Tunstall, on January 18.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council's licensing sub-committee has been asked to review the licence held by the off-licence, and councillors have the power to revoke or suspend the licence, or impose extra conditions on the licence holder.
In her statement to the licensing sub-committee, Trading Standards officer Charlotte Coleman said: "At approximately 8.45pm, I entered the Bargain Booze. The two volunteers, aged 14 and 15, came in shortly afterwards.
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"I saw one of the volunteers select four cans of cider and place them on the counter. I heard the lady ask if it was cider. The lady then scanned the cans. At no time did she ask the volunteers their age or for identification."
Sergeant Dave Wright, of Staffordshire Police's northern licensing unit, said: "The resulting criminal inquiry revealed that the staff member who made the sale claimed to have received training in respect of underage sales. However, there was no documentary evidence.
"The member of staff was issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice following interview."
Police have asked for a list of conditions to be attached to the premises licence, including adopting a Challenge 25 scheme.