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Lancaster off-licences and bars reprimanded for teen alcohol sales

John Freeman

Staff in several Lancaster and Morecambe off-licences and bars have been issued with fines after failing to make ID checks and selling alcohol to youngsters.

Officers in the north of the county, assisted by Trading Standards and a number of teenage volunteers, carried out a three-week test purchase operation to ensure that those working in licensed premises were meeting their responsibilities when it comes to preventing under age sales.

In total, 43 premises were visited in Lancaster and Morecambe, with 11 venues failing to make the necessary checks and enabling two 16-year-old girls to buy 10 bottles of wine, four double vodkas and four large glasses of wine.

Ten premises were also visited in the Wyre area, with one in Cleveleys and one in Thornton failing to ask two 16-year-old girls for identification. The teens were able to buy two bottles of wine.

"Staff will now be issued with £80 fines and the licensee of the premises will have to undergo a surgery with police officers to educate them as to their responsibilities when it comes to preventing underage sales.

"I’m disappointed that premises are still supplying alcohol to children and caring little for age awareness," said licensing officer Sergeant James Martin. "Every premise should challenge the age of anyone who looks under 25 and enforce a no ID, no sale policy.

"The quantity of alcohol obtained could hospitalise the children involved if consumed. Staff in 40 premises behaved responsibly and asked for ID, the small minority should consider the serious nature of this. Police will actively seek to closes premises that put children at risk.”