SUPERMARKETS and off-licences in Pendle are being praised for leading the way in stopping the sale of booze to children.

So far this year 96 per cent of those tested have refused to sell alcohol to a young person without proof of their age.

Pendle Council’s Enforcement Team works with Lancashire Police to carry out regular ‘test purchasing’.

This involves working with people under 18 to check that supermarkets and off licences are asking to view the correct identification documents before allowing them to buy alcohol.

Sergeant Michelle Dixon, Pennine’s licensing sergeant, said: “A test purchase pass rate of 96 per cent for the off licences and supermarkets in Pendle is fantastic and displays the commitment and vigilance of the licensing trade.

“The police and Pendle Council’s enforcement team will continue to carry out routine checks on all premises and I hope this success rate continues.”

Mick Arnfield, Pendle Council’s licensing enforcement officer, said: “It’s extremely encouraging that so many of Pendle’s licensees and their staff are asking young people for proof of their age before serving alcohol to them.

““The reduction in sales to under 18 year olds will assist us in making our local communities safer places to live and work and will also prevent young people from becoming involved in crime or being victims of crime.”

Coun David Whipp, chair of Pendle’s Community Safety Partnership, said: “This is just one of many ways in which Pendle Council and Lancashire Police are working together to combat the harm caused by alcohol misuse.”