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10 August 2013, 08:24
An operation, carried out at off-licences and pubs in the New Milton and Lymington areas of the New Forest, has ended up with five cashiers being issued with fixed penalty notices.
In the operation held on August 8, volunteers aged 16 and 17 went into seven shops and tried to buy alcohol. Two New Milton outlets, Anglo-Asian Stores and Central Bar, passed the test and refused to sell the youths the drinks.
However, five others, two in New Milton and three in Lymington failed the test, and the pair managed to successfully buy an alcoholic drink from the stores.
Hampshire police say they will now be working closely with those premises to improve their staff training and tighten up their working practices to prevent any future failures. However, the individual shop assistants, who sold the alcohol, have been given £90 fixed penalty notices.
PC Jason Eastwood who led the operation said: “It was disappointing that more shops failed than passed in our test purchase operation. All off-licences should be checking ages of people if they are not obviously over 18 and asking for proof. We recommend they actually extend this to anyone who looks under 25.
“We will be speaking with the owners of the shops who failed and making recommendations to them about such things as staff training to make sure the don’t fail again. Shops that continually do fail are likely to have their licence taken away.
“We would however like to congratulate the shops and their staff who did pass the test.
“We will be running similar operation in the future to make sure stores abide by the law which is there to help protect young people from the potential dangers of alcohol.”