Sheffield off licence fails police underage sting operation

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LICENSING chiefs are to review future alcohol sales at a Sheffield shop after it failed three police test purchasing operations where underage youths were sent in to buy booze.

Officers sent police cadets into Mosborough Off Licence three times between November last year and June, during which bottles of wine and cider were sold to the volunteers, who were aged as young as 15.

The shop was subject of a 96-hour voluntary closure after the most recent test purchase failure in June.

Sheffield Council’s licensing board will meet to decide the future of the store’s alcohol licence on Thursday.

In a report to the committee, police said: “Clearly, it can be seen that no regular system of age-related checks or challenges are made as standard practice, leading to a presumption that alcohol is regularly traded to underage persons, with little or no regard to the law or licensing objectives.”

The police added: “The request for a review of a premises licence is not taken lightly by South Yorkshire Police as it is well-understood what effect this will have on trade and prospects of the business.

“However there appears to be an obvious lack of responsibility by the premises’ licence holders and the designated premises supervisor.”

Police said staff at the off licence were fined £80 for each of the underage sales.

They have offered the premises licence holder, Richard Martin, the opportunity to attend a training course.

Officers added that they wanted to help the shop ‘take all reasonable steps’ to avoid future underage sales.