An “unacceptable” number of shops failed test purchases conducted by Trading Standards which led to the seizure of 200 illicit vapes.

Preston City Council worked with the Trading Standards team to conduct alcohol and tobacco test purchasing across Broadgate, the city centre, and Ribbleton on Saturday (February 10).

Twelve premises were tested as part of the operation, nine of which hold a license to sell alcohol.

Of these, six failed and sold alcohol to a 15-year-old test purchaser, and one other sold a vape to the same test purchaser.

This led to an inspection where approximately 200 illicit vapes were seized.

The cashiers who sold alcohol were all issued with £90 fixed penalties and the owners of the businesses now risk a review of their license premises.

PC Ste Connolly, from police licensing, said: “This level of failure rate is unacceptable for licensed premises and particularly concerning when free training on age related sales is available to premises.

“All licensed premises have an obligation to promote the Protection of Children from Harm and those that fail to promote this risk, at worst, revocation of the license should a review be undertaken.”