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Underage drink warning to Ribble Valley pubs

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy News Editor

BAR staff in the Ribble Valley have been warned after some were caught selling alcohol to youngsters.

Police, trading standards officers and teenage volunteers carried out a test purchase operation in Whalley and Longridge.

Eight pubs were visited and five failed to make ID checks – allowing a 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy to buy bottles and pints of beer.

Co-ordinator PC Martin Midgley said: “I’m disappointed premises are still supplying alcohol to children and caring little for age awareness.

“Every premises should challenge the age of anyone who looks under 25 and enforce a no-ID, no-sale policy.

“We will continue to work with the local authority to crack down on underage sales.”

Staff and the alcohol licence-holder for each pub caught out will now meet trading standards and police and a decision will be made about any further action.

Deputy leader of Lancashire County Council Albert Atkinson said: “It is very disappointing to see the number of pubs which have failed during this latest operation. It sends out a message to all retailers that they must take whatever action is needed to ensure their business operates responsibly and within the law, and make use of the advice we make available to them through the Age Check scheme.

“Our advice to retailers of alcohol products is to operate a policy of asking for identification if they think a customer is under the age of 25, as this margin of error for their staff makes it much less likely an underage sale will take place.”

The test purchase took place on February 15.

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