THURROCK Council’s efforts to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour continued during the Easter break.
The council’s trading standards team carried out a series of test purchases in Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope and Chadwell St Mary.
Underage volunteers – accompanied by trading standards officers – visited 18 off-licences and newsagents in an attempt to purchase alcohol and cigarettes.
All but one of them refused to sell to the volunteers, however one of the stores sold alcohol to a 15-year-old. This is now being investigated and formal action will be considered.
The council’s portfolio holder for public protection, Cllr Angie Gaywood, said: “Alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, particularly committed by young people, is one of the top issues raised by our residents.
“We carry out operations including test purchasing and undercover work with Essex Police to help tackle this, but we would also ask for local people to let us know if they are aware of shops selling to underage people.”
Underage sales of restricted items can be reported anonymously online at www.thurrock.gov.uk/tradingstandards and click on underage sales.
This site also includes information about proxy sales – the sale to someone over the age of 18 for the supply of someone underage.
Age-restricted products do not only include alcohol and cigarettes but also such things as fireworks, knives, sun beds, DVDs and video games.
The council’s trading standards offer a training course for licence holders and shopkeepers around age-restricted sales called PASS – the national proof of age standards scheme (http://www.pass-scheme.org.uk/).
For information on the next available training course, call 01375 652955 and ask for Cheryl Wells.