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Businesses reported for selling alcohol to minors

THREE Shetland businesses, one in Scalloway and two in Lerwick, are to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal for allegedly selling alcohol to under aged.

Police in Shetland said on Wednesday that they had all failed a recent test purchasing operation.

Test purchasing powers are used to root out any licensed traders who sell alcohol to minors.

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The scheme consists of a fully briefed teenager (under 18 years of age) entering licensed premises under controlled conditions and in line agreed guidelines to purchase alcohol.

If the proprietor does not ask the person their age and allows them to purchase alcohol they will be committing an offence, even if their excuse is that they thought they were 18.

Wick-based detective sergeant Craig Thomson who is leading the operation said licence holders would not be duped into committing an offence because if they, as they should do, ask the age of the test purchaser the youngsters would answer truthfully.

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“In every community, there are public places where groups of youths congregate for the purpose of consuming alcohol. This often results in anti-social behaviour and has obvious implications on the quality of life for the communities.

“Undoubtedly, many of the problems associated with youths can be directly attributed to the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol.

“We are responding to the needs of our communities by pro-actively tackling this issue at the source, identifying and bringing to justice those who are perpetuating the problem of anti-social behaviour within our communities for the sake of profit,” he said.

He added that public houses, off-sales, and nightclub proprietors were reminded they could face losing their licence if they are found to be selling alcohol to anyone under 18.

Police will be carrying out further test purchase operations in Orkney, Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross during the remainder of October and into November.

Anyone who has information relating to the sale of alcohol to minors is urged to contact Police on 0845 600 5703 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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