Praise for Lincolnshire shops on under-age test purchase results

Alcohol and tobacco retailers in North East Lincolnshire have been praised by enforcement agencies for a dramatic improvement in preventing under-age sales.

Figures just released for the year to March 2012, show that only 12 premises failed a test purchase for alcohol or tobacco out of 159 undercover test purchase operations, equating to a failure rate of 7.5%.

North East Lincolnshire Council said this represented a big improvement on a similar operation in 1997 when the failure rate was 22%.

Traders who failed last year’s tests were given advice, and five were the subject of further action which included alcohol licence reviews, 48-hours closure notices, and a formal caution. All of the premises that failed test purchases passed when retested.

Inspector Neil Pattison of Humberside Police said: “It is good to note that sales to under-18s have fallen. However we will not be complacent and will continue to work closely with trading standards to target premises, both on- and off-licence, who we suspect are selling to under-age people.”

Councillor David Bolton, the council’s portfolio holder for community safety and neighbourhoods, said: “This shows the importance of the work done by the relevant bodies on education as well as enforcement, and it also shows that local businesses have a commitment to improving the situation in North East Lincolnshire.

"I would like to praise all the traders involved for these great results.”