A Boston store has failed a plainclothes test purchase operation targeting the sale of alcohol and cigarettes after selling alcohol to two 16-year-old police volunteers.
European Food, of Wide Bargate, was the only one of seven ‘off-licence style premises’ visited as part of the operation by Lincolnshire Police’s Alcohol Licensing Team yesterday (Monday).
The team was supported by officers from the Neighbourhood Police Team at Boston and accompanied by two 16 year old police volunteers.
Licensing Sergeant Kim Enderby said: “These test purchases are the culmination of a piece of work conducted for the Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) that has been established in Boston.
“At the start of the year all smaller retailers were visited and given packs to re-enforce the zero tolerance approach to the sale of alcohol to children.
“My team then carried out a test purchase operation on all those premises visited.
“The ones who failed were invited to attend a free training day, with training provided by the larger retailers involved with the CAP such as Asda, Tesco and the Co-Op.
“This training was to ensure all the stores are aware of their legal responsibilities, their staff fully trained and that everything was in place to prevent the sale of alcohol to children in Boston.
“This final test purchase operation last night was to ensure the stores were still operating responsibly”.
“We were encouraged that six of the stores visited challenged and refused to sell alcohol to our volunteers.
“It shows that the CAP message is working and retailers overall are operating responsibly.
“However it is still disappointing that they were able to make one purchase.
“We make serious efforts to warn, educate and advise licenced premises to deal with the issue of underage sales and the impact it has upon anti-social and criminal behaviour in local communities and the harmful effects on the health of young people. Further sanctions are being considered against the store that failed.
“All CAP members remained committed to tackling the problems associated with the consumption of alcohol by children.
“We have a number of similar operations planned for the next few months in Boston and across the whole of the county.
“Those involved in the illegal sale of alcohol and cigarettes to children can expect a visit.”
Partners within the CAP include the police, the borough council, public health, youth services, Addaction, Boston Mayflower and local schools.