Off-licences across three west Cumbrian towns have been praised by Cumbria Trading Standards after refusing to sell alcohol to underage teens during an undercover operation last week.
Following intelligence that underage drinking had been reported in Maryport, Cleator Moor and Egremont, a joint operation with Cumbria police took place with 23 shops tested, nine in Maryport and 14 in Cleator Moor and Egremont, and all of them refusing to serve the teenagers on 5 August and 11 August respectively.
Anyone selling alcohol to underage people is liable to an £80 fine and further offences could lead to the shop losing their alcohol licence.
John Greenbank, from Cumbria Trading Standards, said: "In previous years an operation of this size would have led to at least one illegal sale. This is exactly the result that I hope for when we carry out these operations and indicates a big drop in the easy availability of alcohol to young people from off-licences in west Cumbria.
"There is no excuse for an off-licence to sell to anyone underage and doing so not only raises the chances of anti-social behaviour in the area but also causes health issues for youngsters who drink alcohol.
"Selling alcohol to juveniles is a serious matter and we will continue to carry out test purchase operations until we stamp it out.
"These positive results make it clear that individuals and businesses are taking heed of their roles and responsibilities under the law and as members of their local community."
Anyone with information about retailers breaking the law can contact Cumbria Trading Standards on 01539 713594 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Retailers of age-restricted products that would like free advice to help avoid making illegal sales can call Cumbria Trading Standards using the same number.
Media enquiries to Media Officer Chris Little on 01228 226335.