Police take action in test purchase operation

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SOUTH Yorkshire Police took action against a number of premises which sold alcohol to underage people as part of a test purchase operation.

Throughout November, Young people aged 15 to 16 visited licensed premises including bars, public houses and off licences and attempted to purchase alcohol.

They went to 60 venues in Barnsley, of which 14 failed by agreeing to sell them the alcohol.

Officers issued fixed penalty tickets to those who failed once, while those that failed twice were asked to close voluntarily for 48 hours or be prosecuted.

Superintendent Shaun Morley of South Yorkshire Police said: “We want to tackle underage drinking over the Christmas period and if we can get the licensed premises to be extra vigilant then we are some way to achieving this.

“We are wanting licensed premises to work with us and hold some responsibility when it comes to underage drinking.

“The test purchasing operations will be targeting those premises we have relevant intelligence to suggest they are serving alcohol to underage people.”

He added: “If a premises fails the first test purchase operation we will inform them, giving them chance to speak to all members of their staff and rectify the issue.

“If, however, they are caught twice, then tougher action is needed and they will therefore be asked to either close for 48 hours voluntarily or attend court.

“By having such robust consequences in place we are hoping that each premises will think twice about serving someone that looks underage without a valid form of ID.”

The operation is set to continue throughout December and is supported by a media campaign called ‘Start thinking reduce your drinking’, which focuses on a range of messages including drink driving, safe socialising, anti-social drinking and domestic violence.