Fareham pubs and off-licences pass under-age booze op

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PUBS and off-licences impressed police when all 21 premises visited in a single night refused to serve under-18s with alcohol during an undercover operation.

But although the result from the operation is being praised by licensing officers, they are warning alcohol sellers not to be complacent.

Six off-licences and 15 pubs across Fareham borough were visited by a pair of teenage boys, who were from outside the area so they wouldn’t be recognised when they tried to buy alcohol.

They were refused at every venue.

During the last test purchase operation in November last year, two pubs and one off-licence failed when they served the youngsters drinks.

Fareham licensing officer PC Jason Pearce said: ‘These results are very encouraging, and although it’s the first time in at least two years where we’ve had a 100 per cent pass rate, we will not let up in our efforts to keep up with the regular testing. All of the premises will be fed back the results to give them a pat on the back, but it will also serve as a reminder that we are out there checking that the standards do not slip.

‘Controlling licensed premises has a large impact on alcohol-related crime. If you fail these tests twice in three months you will have an automatic licence review, so just one failure puts your business at risk for the next three months.

‘We are always drumming this message into licensees and we need to keep reinforcing it.’

Fareham officers carry out up to six test operations a year. In Fareham town, officers visited Chicago Rock, The Vanguard, The Crown, Brass Monkey, Clinkers, The Jolly Miller and The Fareham pubs as well as Oasis, Fordies, and the Highlands Road Co-op off-licences, plus Go Bowling.

They also went to Red Barn Express, Grande Wines and First Stop off-licences as well as The Red Lion, and The White Hart pubs, all in Portchester.

Others pubs visited included the Cob and Pen in Wallington, The Sir Joseph Paxton in Titchfield Common, The Lock, Stock & Barrel at Locks Heath Centre, The Ferryman in Warsash and The Village Inn, Park Gate.