Trading Standards officers in Knowsley have carried out a test purchasing operation targeting underage sales.
The team visited a number of premises across the Huyton area in a joint operation with Merseyside Police, with underage volunteers attempting to buy tobacco or butane.
During the exercise, three retailers sold age-restricted products to the 15 year old volunteer:
- One shop sold a multi pack of butane to the volunteer and a large quantity of suspected counterfeit and unsafe goods were seized, including children’s lunch boxes and potentially unsafe inflatable toys and children’s chairs.
- One shop sold cigarettes to a 15 year old girl and a small quantity of drugs was also found on the premises.
- One shop sold cigarettes to a 15 year old girl.
Further enquiries are on-going by Knowsley Council’s trading standards officers in relation to the offences in all three premises.
“Our test purchasing exercises aim to ensure that local retailers are meeting their responsibilities regarding the sale of age restricted products and it is clear from these exercises that the majority of retailers are aware of their responsibilities and act within the law.
“However, it is not acceptable for the other retailers to sell age-restricted goods to an underage person and we are currently looking into why those sales, as part of this most recent exercise, were allowed to take place.
“We take this matter extremely seriously and will take robust enforcement action when premises break the law. We will continue to carry out these test purchasing initiatives across the borough for the benefit of local people.”