Underage girl served in pubs

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FIVE pubs and an off-licence served alcohol to an underage girl in a test set by police on Friday.

Police say they are targeting the problems associated with underage drinking in Oakham, such as anti-social behaviour, by carrying out test purchasing operations at pubs and off-licences in the town.

On Friday evening, officers visited eight pubs and one off licence in the town. They were accompanied by a 15-year-old girl who was told to give her true age if she was asked for identification.

Five pubs and the off-licence sold alcohol to the teenager and three refused.

Police refused to give the names of the premises that failed the test, but have said that if it happens again they will name and shame the premises which are caught.

Sgt Matt Ditcher from Oakham police, said; “The law is very clear – there must be no sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.

“On this occasion six of the premises served alcohol to a 15-year-old.

“Each offence will be dealt with by local officers and further enforcement work is planned to ensure that alcohol is not being sold in pubs and off licences to people under 18.

“The sale of alcohol contributes to anti-social behaviour and can be a risk to the health of young teenagers as well as making them vulnerable to crime if they are drunk. “

Sgt Ditcher praised the pubs and shops that challenged the teenager and refused to sell her alcohol.

He added: “The message is clear, you must check the age of the person before you sell them alcohol.”

Licensed premises that fail a test purchasing operation a second time will automatically have their licence reviewed.

If anyone is caught a third time, the police will request the licence is taken from them.

To report anti-social behaviour call 101.