Clampdown on underage sales

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OFFICERS from Trading Standards and the police will join forces to clamp down on the illegal selling of alcohol to under-18s.

The joint operation between Lancashire’s Trading Standards Service and the Special Constabulary is part of the county’s ongoing commitment to reduce the sale of alcohol to underage people in East Lancashire

The new partnership will also target what are known as “proxy sales”, when adults buy alcohol on behalf of under-18s. This is a criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £5,000 if convicted.

Special Inspector Laura Kendall, of the Pennine Division of Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Anyone caught selling alcohol to people who are underage will receive an £80 fine, and if they’re caught doing that again in a further test purchase operation within the next three months, they could face a further penalty of up to £20,000 and their licence could be reviewed and may be revoked.”

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Cabinet member with responsibility for Lancashire’s Trading Standards service, said: “It is not about how many test purchase operations or prosecutions we carry out each year, it is about outcomes; improving health prospects and reducing crime levels.

Special Inspector Gareth Mead of Eastern Division said: “When we carry out test purchases, we don’t want the sale to happen. Lancashire’s Trading Standards service has been carrying out these types of operations, in conjunction with Lancashire Constabulary, for many years and we will continue to work in partnership to tackle the problem of underage and proxy sales of alcohol.”