Four off-licences have been caught selling alcohol to a 16-year-old in a test purchase operation.
The operation, by a Sussex Police licensing team using a child volunteer, targeted eight off-licences in Shoreham, Worthing, Rustington and Littlehampton.
The four premises found to be selling alcohol illegally were: Mulberry’s, Kent Close, Shoreham; Montague Stores, Montague Street, Worthing; West Worthing Food Centre, South Street, Tarring and Trident News, Shelley Road, Worthing. All members of staff caught selling the alcohol were issued with a £90 penalty notice. The management of all four stores will be invited to a meeting with the police to discuss the sales.
Sergeant Mike Balmer said: “These results are very disappointing and highlight the importance of carrying out test purchase operations. There are obvious risks associated with children being able to purchase alcohol, whilst also increasing the risk of crime and anti-social behaviour for residents in the local community.
“Shop owners who break the law put their alcohol licence at risk. All of these premises will be re-tested again.
“On a more encouraging note, HD Food and Wine, Ham Road, Worthing; Best One, Guildford Road, Rustington and Silas, Beach Road, Littlehampton, were all re-tested and passed. The eighth tested, Premier Maxi’s Supermarket in High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, refused to sell alcohol to our under-age volunteer.”
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