THE OWNERS of a Hucknall shop could be hauled before the courts after a 15-year-old boy was allowed to buy booze there during an undercover sting.
Trading standards officers from Notts County Council carried out a ‘test-purchase operation’ at nine shops throughout Ashfield, Mansfield and Broxtowe. Under-age volunteers were asked to go into the premises and try to buy booze or cigarettes.
The shop in Hucknall, which has not been named, was the only one to fail.
Now the owners will be interviewed under caution before a decision is taken on whether to charge them with breaking the law or review their alcohol licence with Ashfield District Council.
The county council’s Cabinet member for community safety, Coun Mick Murphy (Con), of Hucknall, said: “It is encouraging that eight of the nine retailers visited refused to sell cigarettes or alcohol to our young volunteers.
“Our trading standards team is really keen to work with retailers on putting systems in place which deter under-age sales. We would much rather prevent sales in the first place than prosecute shops who fail in their responsibilities.
“We really need the public to let us know about the shops that are selling to under-age customers. Under-age drinking often leads to anti-social behaviour, which blights our communities.
“We all know about the health risks associated with smoking, so it’s in our interests to stop alcohol and cigarettes getting into the hands of children.”
If you believe a shop in your area is selling cigarettes or alcohol to under-18s, report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.