Two Wyre stores fail under-age booze test

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STAFF in two off-licences have been fined £80 after selling alcohol to an underage teen test purchaser.

As part of a joint operation between Lancashire Police and Trading Standards, the 15-year-old boy visited 12 off-licences across Wyre including in the Over Wyre area, Fleetwood and Poulton.

In each store he attempted to buy either wine or cider. Staff in 10 premises refused the sale, either outright or after asking for identification. However, in two stores the boy was served alcohol, buying a bottle of wine and five litres of cider.

Police have not revealed exactly where the two stores are that failed the test purchases.

A store that fails a test purchase operation is then subject to a licensing surgery with a police officer, where it will be determined what needs to be put in place and implemented to stop this happening again. One of the stores had failed the test purchase for a second time and will go to a licensing review at Wyre Borough Council, where its licence to sell alcohol could be suspended.

PC Tracy Potts, licensing officer for Wyre, said: “Selling alcohol to children puts them at risk of harm, both from a health point of view and also because they are more vulnerable when they are drunk. It also contributes to subsequent anti-social behaviour and crime on a local level – especially criminal damage.

“It is reassuring to see that staff in most stores tested on this occasion asked for identification and that sales were refused. However, those that did go on to sell alcohol have been fined and the procedures at the establishment will now come under close scrutiny from police.”