Thanks to a joint initiative between the Police and the Council sales of alcohol to children have fallen by 50% in the last few months.
In a recent survey, a total of 42 premises were visited around the city by mystery shopper minors. Only 11 premises sold alcohol to the children. This total of 26% compares to over 50% in a previous survey conducted earlier in the year. The outlets that sold the alcohol were largely in target areas known to police.
The extensive study was conducted by Trading Standards and Sussex Police, and involved children of Sussex Constabulary employees. It is an evaluation of the first stage of the ‘Too Young To Buy’ initiative due to be formally launched in November.
Trading Standards Manager John Peerless said, "We are determined to cut off the easy supply of alcohol to minors. We have been intensifying activities in targeted areas. These figures show a distinct improvement.
"We have been introducing a responsible trader scheme on under age sales. Where packs have been distributed the level of sales is negligible. This indicates the message is reaching retailers."
Sussex Police Chief Inspector Lisa Pearcey said, "We are constantly having to deal with the consequences of under age drinking. In particular, the violent and anti social behaviour that can develop as a result.
"This initiative is an excellent example of effective partnership between the local authority and Sussex Police."
Trading Standards and Sussex Police are determined to stop under age sales, whether accidental or otherwise. The new responsible trader scheme 'Too Young To Buy' suggests if there is any question about the age of a person trying to buy alcohol, appropriate ID should be produced. Their message is: 'NO ID NO SALE'.
For further information contact Ray Moore on 01273 292487.
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