Lancaster pub and off licence busted by undercover police after selling booze to children

Children as young as 14 are being served alcohol in pubs and off licences across Lancashire.

Earlier this month, Lancashire Police carried out a test purchasing operation targeting pubs and off licences in Lancaster, Morecambe and Garstang.

Operation Minion, supported by Trading Standards, saw children aged between 14 and 16 years of age enter bars and shops attempting to buy alcohol.

The teenagers were shadowed by undercover officers who witnessed the purchases, with 15 premises tested.

One pub and an off licence in Lancaster were caught selling alcohol to children aged between 14 and 16 years of age.

Police did not identify which pub and off licence sold the alcohol to the children but said the proprietors had been fined.

Premises which fail a test purchase are dealt with by way of a fine or a review of the premises licence which could be revoked if a premises has failed on more than one occasion.

PC Andrew Taylor, licensing Officer, said: “The test is very simple. All premises have in place check 25, which means anyone purchasing alcohol that looks under 25 should be ID checked. If there is no ID, there is no sale

“There is no excuse if a licensed premises fails a test purchase. Our role and objective is to protect children from harm and we do these operations to prevent children from obtaining alcohol.

"Remember your personal alcohol licence and premises licence could be under threat if you sell alcohol to underage children.”

More undercover operations by Police Licensing, Council Licensing and Trading Standards are scheduled to take place across Lancashire in December in the run-up to Christmas.