A THIRD of shops and pubs tested in a sting by police in Fareham were caught selling alcohol to underage drinkers.
Officers carried out the test in the Fareham and Park Gate area with the help of children aged under 16.
Five of 15 tested premises failed, each because they did not ask to see identification and sold the alcohol.
PC Jason Pearce, licensing officer, said: ‘This evening of testing shows that there is more sustained work needed to ensure that premises are not contributing to the wider crime and disorder, in addition to committing the offence of selling alcohol to underage people itself.
‘We will use the full weight of licensing legislation to stamp down on any premises that does not take appropriate measures to prevent children from obtaining alcohol at their pub or in their shop.’
All staff who sold to children were issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice and there will be follow-up action with each failed shop or pub.
If a venue fails twice within three months its licence could be reviewed by the council and ultimately taken away.
PC Pearce added: ‘In summary, this was a very useful evening in that it has highlighted the need for us to sustain these operations.
‘As with all areas of police and partner agency work, the effort to reduce offences will be kept up and further operations of this kind are planned.’
Councillor Arthur Mandry, the spokesman for public protection at Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘It’s very disappointing. We used to be probably the best in the county with these test purchase operations. It was unusual to get a failure.
‘I don’t know why this is.
‘It may come down to training of staff.
‘They have got to be a lot more vigilant because they are in danger of losing their licence.’
Four out of five of the premises which failed were pubs.
‘You expect pubs to be extra vigilant and be aware,’ added Cllr Mandry.
‘They can bet their lives that they are going to be tested again very soon.’
HOW THEY DID...
The Fareham, town centre
The Vanguard, town centre
Clinkers Tavern, town centre
Castle in the Air, town centre
BP garage, Park Gate
Co-op, town centre
The Brass Monkey, town centre
The Crown, town centre
Oasis off licence, town centre
Grande Wines off licence, Stubbington
Budgens supermarket, Stubbington
Red Lion, Stubbington
Sir Joseph Paxton, Titchfield Common
The Silver Fern, Warsash
The Ferryman, Warsash