BUSINESSES that persistently sell alcohol to children could lose their license.
This is the warning being sent out by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service thanks to new powers that have been introduced.
Trading Standards officers and the police can now stop businesses in Nuneaton, Bedworth, North Warwickshire and the rest of the county from selling booze for up to two weeks if the retailer is caught making two or more sales of alcohol to children in a three month period.
The new powers offer the service the opportunity to take quick and decisive action against problem businesses, while allowing officers to take a full prosecution if the business cont inues with its transgressions.
Warwickshire County Councillor Richard Hobbs, cabinet member for community safety said: “Most retailers understand the problems caused by under-age drinking, to the health of young people and in terms of anti-social behaviour in the community.
“They take their responsibilities seriously and ensure that children and young people cannot buy alcohol.
“However, there remains a smal l minority who despite education, support and warnings, continue to sell to under 18’s.
“This new power will help us to take quick and decisive action against them which will have an effect not only on their alcohol sales, but their entire business.”
The new powers come after undercover test purchases were carried out in Nuneaton, Bedworth, North Warwickshire and Rugby.
A total of 17 alcohol retailers were visited and four sales were made to 15-year-old child volunteers.
Out of the 17 test purchases, 11 were carried out in Nuneaton, Bedworth and North Warwickshire and one sale was made in North Warwickshire.
Businesses that were suspected of selling alcohol to children were targeted.
Trading Standards uses information and intelligence gathered from local communities to target problem businesses.
Investigations are being carried out by officers and are on-going.
In Warwickshire, alcohol is a key public health priority having featured in the Director of Public Health’s annual report of 2011.
It is a cross-cutting priority for all four Community Safety Partnerships, and there is a Warwickshire-wide alcohol implementation plan supported by all key stakeholders.
Young people aged under 18 wanting drug and alcohol advice, information and special treatment are advised to contact Compass Warwickshire.
The service is available between 9amand 5pmon 08000 88 72 48.
If people get an answering service they are asked to leave a message and someone will get back to them.
More information and advice can also be found at ht tp://www.warwick shire.gov.uk/alcohol