Borough Council of Wellingborough

Organisations tackle illegal alcohol sales

Published Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Wellingborough Council and Northamptonshire Police carried out an operation to tackle illegal sales of alcohol to under-aged drinkers in the borough.

An officer from the Health Protection team undertook a joint test purchase operation with a Licensing Officer from Northamptonshire Police and two minors on 1 November.

Officers visited seventeen licensed retail premises in Wellingborough, where the minors attempted to purchase alcohol. Sixteen out of seventeen premises refused the sale of alcohol to the minors. However, one failed the test purchase and sold them alcohol.

The employee serving the minors was issued with an on the spot fixed penalty fine of £90 by the police, and the licence holder has been issued with written warnings from the council. A further test purchase will be attempted at the premises within the next three months, to check whether they have implemented additional controls.

All premises where sales were refused will be made aware, in writing that they passed the test purchase operation.

Amanda Wilcox, Principal Environmental Health Manager,  at the Borough Council of Wellingborough, said: “We work closely with Northamptonshire Police to carry out sporadic test purchase operations across the borough and it is really reassuring that sixteen out of seventeen premises refused to sell alcohol to minors.

“We would like to thank all premises which comply with regulations and we will continue to work with our partners, Northamptonshire Police, to tackle the illegal sale of alcohol to minors.”

PC David Bryan, Northamptonshire Police Licensing Officer, added: “Test purchase operations are a really helpful tool for making sure premises are following the law around preventing the sale of alcohol to under-18s.

“I’m really pleased with the results of this operation, which showed 16 out of the 17 premises we visited is doing what is required and asking for ID.

“Our follow-up checks will make sure the venue which failed the test purchase has made the necessary improvements. If it has not then further, more serious action will be taken.”