In Brief

Staff caught on camera

Two members of staff at a Gateshead branch of Costcutter have been fined after being caught

by the store's own CCTV selling cider, lager and perry to children in school uniform. Rachpall Kaur was fined £800 and ordered to pay £125 costs, and Gurvinder Uppal was fined £200 with £125 costs, after the offences at the shop in Park Terrace, also known as Shibdon Convenience Store. In total, 19 bottles of beer, 65 bottles of Lambrini, 42 cans of lager and two bottles of cider were sold to children or to adults buying them on behalf of minors. Youngsters had gathered outside the shop after the funeral of a local 16-year-old .

Message getting through

A test purchasing operation in Swindon has shown

the message to retailers not to sell alcohol to minors is getting through. Only one store out of 11 targeted in the sting sold

alcohol to a 14-year-old girl.

Businesses targeted in the operation were chosen because they had either sold alcohol to children in the past or had complaints made about them. When checks were first made in 2003, Swindon police reported a 60-70% failure rate.

Burglars' bungle on film

An Ipswich off-lice nsee hopes burglars who broke into his store may be caught after one of them inadvert ently turned a CCTV camera to point at his own face. Thieves stole eight cases of beer and 19 bottles of wine, with a combined value of around £200, from CK Food & Wine in Bramford Road in the town, after breaking in once the store had closed for the night. Owner Chaminda Delgahawattegedara told a local newspaper one of the men had turned the camera to face himself, not realising it worked in the dark.

Child thieves steal drinks

Essex police say children as young as six are being sent into stores to steal alcohol. A man is said to have kept staff at The Local in Billericay talking while two girls, estimated to be aged six and seven, grabbed a bottle of wine each and fled. In an incident at another branch

in Wickford, a girl aged around 10 took a six-pack of beer after a man distracted the


Proxy buyers targeted

Police in the Scottish town of Largs are targeting adults who buy alcohol for

children . In an exercise described as "robust", police have reported a number of people to the Procurator Fiscal and have issued fixed penalty notices to under-age drinkers. Police said proxy purchasers had been targeted as a result of intelligence they had received.

Complaints urge name change

Shop owners in Staffordshire have agreed to change the name of their off-licence because locals feared it could encourage under-age drinking. The owners of Booze 4 U in Stretton are asking customers to pick a more suitable name from a list of five including Spend 'n' Save and Stop 'n' Shop.