A CORRINGHAM shop has had its off-licence suspended for a month after selling alcohol to under-age volunteers taking part in a Thurrock Council operation.
The incident occurred in February when the two 15-year-old volunteers accompanied by council trading standards officers attempted to buy alcohol from nine local stores.
Only one – Essex mini Market in Grover Walk – actually sold alcohol, a bottle of WKD Original Vodka Purple, and also offered to open the bottle for the young people.
The incident took place at lunchtime and the shop was well lit.
On Thursday (19 September) the council’s licensing sub-committee met to consider the matter, following an adjournment in July.
Members imposed a series of extra conditions on the licence and suspended the licence for a month.
They also heard that since the incident, the owner has attended training by trading standards and is contributing to the Thurrock Community Alcohol Partnership and the Corringham Community Alcohol Partnership which brings all the local agencies together to target alcohol misuse in the area.
The suspension will only come into force when the time allowed for appeals has passed.
Cllr Ben Maney, chair of the sub-committee, said afterwards: “This is the second time this sub-committee has imposed a suspension and we hope licence holders across Thurrock will realise we take the sale of alcohol to under 18s very seriously indeed.
“The eight extra conditions we are imposing will make sure the store’s staff are properly trained, that a ‘refusals book’ is kept and maintained, and that it adopts a Challenge 25 policy which should ensure 15-year-olds are properly challenged.”
He added: “Young people are vulnerable, and the safety of young people under the influence of alcohol is even more in danger. That is why Thurrock Council is clamping down and will continue to clamp down on under-age alcohol sales.”