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19/4/2012 - 18/04/2012 - County council and Police crack down on underage alcohol sales

Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards team have been working in partnership with Cumbria Constabulary to increase vigilance and stamp out underage sales in Carlisle and Keswick.
A 15-year-old volunteer took part in a test purchasing exercise and attempted to buy alcohol in five different retailers in the north of the county. Three of the five retailers tested successfully challenged the volunteer, but two traders failed to prevent sales from taking place.

Cumbria Constabulary has now issued the two retailers that failed the underage sales test with a £ 80 fixed penalty notice.

Trading Standards staff work closely with traders to ensure compliance with the law throughout the year and these undercover checks form a vital part of ensuring compliance.

Angela Jones, Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards Manager, said: "It is very disappointing that some licensees are still flouting the law and failing to ask for ID - and then selling alcohol to underage young people.

"Alcohol consumption by young teenagers has a profound detrimental effect on their own health and on their communities, with a direct link between alcohol and anti-social behavior.

"It is clear that there is still work to be done and our Trading Standards officers will continue to work with the police to tackle the problem of underage sales and deal firmly with business who break the law.

"Our approach is not aimed at just taking action against retailers but also at educating and helping them not to repeat their mistakes. Our advice to off-licences, supermarkets, pubs or restaurants remains the same - no ID, no sale."

Anyone with information regarding the possible illegal sales of alcohol. tobacco, knives, butane gas or other age restricted products can inform Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06, Cumbria police on 101 or emailing  All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Media enquiries to communications adviser Charlotte Thompson on 01228 226325