Illegal drinking

Stores caught selling alcohol to underage teens

Warnings have been issued to three local businesses after underage teenagers were able to purchase alcohol from them.
In the lead up to the elrow Town Festival, the council’s Trading Standards team carried out test purchases at 12 stores across the borough on Friday 19 August, with two 16-year-old volunteers able to buy alcohol from a quarter of shops visited.
It is the latest in a string of similar operations carried out by Barking and Dagenham Council, including one earlier this month which also saw underage volunteers try to purchase alcohol at 20 businesses, with all 20 passing.
The Licensing Act 2003 makes it illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 and business owners found breaking the law can face unlimited fines and even risk losing their alcohol licence.
Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “It’s very disappointing that stores failed to conduct basic ID checks, however, this is why we carry out these test purchase operations to help businesses identify where they have training needs and remind them of their legal obligations.
“Residents will rightly be alarmed by this news, but our recent exercises have shown an increased number of shops are following the rules than previous years.
“Any shops that fail to meet the standards expected will face further investigation and potential legal action, which could include prosecution and reviewing the licences.”
The council plans to continue carrying out test purchase operations throughout the year.