NEARLY a third of pubs and bars targeted in a police test purchase operation in Leeds sold alcohol to underage children.
The operation last Friday saw officers send 15-year-old volunteers into ten pubs and bars in Hyde Park and Headingley to attempt to buy alcohol. Three premises failed the test and sold alcohol to them.
Sgt Dave Shaw, of Leeds District Licensing, said: “The thirty per cent failure rate on this latest operation is completely unacceptable and shows that licensed premises need to be doing more to comply with the law and prevent children from buying alcohol.
“Children and alcohol is a dangerous mix that affects the health of our young people and makes them more vulnerable to crime. It also increases anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhoods, and pubs and bars must do more to prevent this.
“We are going to be placing an increased emphasis on test purchase operations on public houses and bars throughout Leeds this year and during 2016 after previously focusing on off-licences.
“Any premises who are found selling to children twice within a three month period risk having their licences removed by the council.”
The staff members who sold alcohol during this operation were dealt with through community resolutions. They are also facing internal disciplinary proceedings.
Off-licence owners, landlords, or anyone else concerned in selling alcohol to the public can contact Leeds District Licensing Department on 0113 385 9417 if they require any advice about sales to under-18s.