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Police to blitz underage sales in Harlow

Politics / Wed 2nd Dec 2015 at 04:01pm

ESSEX Police will be carrying out extra checks on shops selling alcohol in the run up to Christmas to help protect children and young people from the dangers of underage drinking.

Officers will be visiting a number of licensed premises across the county to check that they are not selling alcohol to under 18s and that they are following the guidelines on asking for proof of age. These visits will be in addition to the regular programme of inspections.

Working with Essex County Council and other local authority partners, officers will use information gathered from these inspections to inform a series of follow up test purchases.

It is an offence to sell alcohol to under 18s or to purchase it with the intention of giving it to them. A member of staff who serves a person under 18 is liable to an instant fine of £90 or an unlimited fine if the matter goes to court. In the case of persistent selling the premises could be forced to close for three months or have its license revoked.

Gordon Ashford, the substance misuse and licensing co-ordinator said: “Working alongside our partners, we will do all we can to protect children from the harm that alcohol can cause and to prevent the anti-social behaviour linked to under-age drinking. The aim of this inspection campaign is to highlight to licensed premises their own duty to protect children from harm and, where they do not, to take active steps to curtail their illegal activity – if necessary, by seeking to have their licence to sell alcohol revoked.”

Anyone who has concerns that a licensed premises is selling alcohol to under 18s can report it to Essex Police on 101, via the local authority or Essex County Council website, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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