Record number of pubs and shops fail alcohol test

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FIVE pubs and off licences failed to ask for identification and served alcohol to underage youngsters in a police sting.

The number is a record for the operation, which is run by Fareham Borough Council and Hampshire Constabulary and takes place every three months.

The premises that failed the latest operation were The Delme Arms in Fareham, The Seagull in Portchester, Grande Wines in Stubbington, TGI Friday’s in Segensworth and The Co-op in Warsash Road.

Underage volunteers aged 16 and 17, along with plain-clothes officers, went into the shops and pubs on Saturday, September 13 to see if they would be sold alcohol.

Of the 11 premises that were tested, five failed to ask the young people for ID and sold them alcohol.

Chairman of Fareham Community Safety Partnership Councillor Trevor Cartwright said: ‘This is a record number of failures in Fareham which is disappointing, but it goes to show that these tests are essential in ensuring that we reduce the number of underage drinking in the borough.’

Two of the premises were tested due to residents raising concerns to the council and two pubs had new landlords who were both visited by police officers the week before the tests for an induction meeting, which included a discussion surrounding the need to check for ID.

Each of the failed premises will now receive a follow-up meeting to identify why the failure happened and what changes need to be made, as well as to receive advice about how to educate staff.

Licensing officer PC Jason Pearce said: ‘Premises can expect further tests in the lead-up to Christmas.

‘It is frustrating that any premises failed such tests because it should be instinctive to ask for ID if in doubt over age.

‘The consequences can be serious, a premises last year lost its licence.’

Two of the pubs that failed the previous operation three months ago both passed with confident staff challenges, proving they have taken on board the follow-up advice from the police and have improved in-house training and procedures.