Police plan Christmas test purchases

19 November, 2007

Drinks retailers are to be subjected to more test purchasing in the run up to Christmas as part of the government’s efforts to curb alcohol-related crime and disorder.

Licensed retail support group, BII said today that the Home Office had received funding for a Christmas campaign that will target drinks stores and pubs in 90 police districts in England and Wales.

The campaign, which builds on the previous Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaigns and Tackling Underage Sales Campaign, will run in two phases.

The first phase, starting today and running to Nov 30 will involve police and trading standards officers giving out information, guidance and support to retailers before they start the second phase on Dec 1.

From that date to Christmas so called “problem premises” will be visited by authorities with police coming down hard on retailers who sell alcohol to under-18s and customers who are already drunk.

The BII advised retailers to check ID and refuse service to anyone who was drunk to avoid paying the £80 fixed penalty notice if caught.

"The vast majority of our socially responsible members already have robust training and processes in place to prevent and manage these type of incidents. Therefore, although there is no room for complacency, they should have nothing to fear from this campaign," added a spokeswoman.

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