Fixed penalty notices have been issued to two licensed premises in Surrey Heath for selling alcohol to underage customers following a joint test purchasing operation.
The operation was carried out by Surrey Police and Surrey Heath Borough Council last Thursday (28 January), with nine licensed premises targeted in Surrey Heath.
Two of the premises failed the test after serving alcohol to the 16-year-old test purchaser, with employees from both of them served with £90 fixed penalty notices. The two premises were Camberley Supermarket in Old Dean Parade, Camberley, and The One Stop shop in Ansell Road, Frimley.
The designated premises supervisors of both premises have been given strong words of advice by police. All staff from both premises will be required to undertake re-training on the licensing laws.
The operation was carried out to prevent alcohol being made available to young people under the age of 18 years in Surrey Heath.
Surrey Heath’s Licensing Officer Rab Carnie said: “Surrey Police works very closely with the licensing trade but where we receive intelligence or concerns from the community that standards at a premises are not being maintained we will seek to prosecute with our colleagues from Surrey Heath Borough Council and Trading Standards.
“Poorly-run premises often have a negative impact on a community and this is one of the tactics we use and will continue to use to deal with any premises that falls below the required standard. Any premises which fails two test purchases within a three month period risks prosecution and a review of the premise’s license.
“It is a proven fact that the misuse of alcohol is a factor in leading young people to behave in an anti-social manner and those businesses that have a licence to sell alcohol have a responsibility to ensure that both the conditions of that licence, and the law, are upheld.”
Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Inspector Bob Darkens said: “It is incumbent upon each and every staff member working in a licensed premise to ensure they act within the law by checking the age of anyone who attempts to buy alcohol if they are in any doubt.
“The manager of the premises should also make training available to all staff on a regular basis. All licence holders must realise that it is their responsibility to ensure everyone working for them follows the letter of the law.”
Insp Darkens added: “My team will continue to carry out these operations, as reducing the availability of alcohol to young people reduces the reports of crime and anti-social behaviour in the local community. We would also continue to encourage the public to report any information about underage alcohol sales straightaway.”
If you have any information about underage alcohol sales, please contact Surrey Police on 101 and ask to speak to your local neighbourhood team.