The Role of Test Purchasing within Alcohol Strategies & Licensing David Ellerington Regulatory Services & Public Protection
First Involvement • Trading Standards have for a number of years have been and continue to be involved with the use of Test Purchasing as an effective enforcement tool • Initially involved with fireworks and cigarettes • Change in the law through amendment in the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 took the involvement of Trading Standards Services to a new level
Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 • The 2001 Act amended the Licensing Act 1964 • Section 169G: Offence of sending someone under 18 into Licensed Premises • Section disapplied when where person under 18 is sent in by – • a constable, or • an inspector of weights and measures appointed under the section 72(1) of the Weights and Measures Act 1985.
Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 • Section 169I of the Licensing Act 1964 • It is the duty of every local weights and measures authority in England and Wales to enforce within their area the provisions, • A local weights and measures authority shall have power to make, or to authorise any person to make on their behalf, such purchases as goods as may appear expedient for determining compliance.
Licensing Act 2003 • Section 152 sending a child to obtain alcohol still an offence • Disapplied by Section 152 (4) • A constable, or • An inspector of weights and measures appointed under the section 72(1) of the Weights and Measures Act 1985. • Section 154 It is the duty of local weights and measures authority in England and Wales to enforce within its area the underage sales provisions made on and from premises
Early Developments • Protocol signed with Northumbria Police – Trading Standards to deal with off sale issues and Police with on sale issues • Recruitment of child volunteers under the LACORS Code of Practice • Significant number of test purchasing exercises carried out in some 250 off-licences in the city
Early Results • 100 plus individuals prosecuted and convicted for selling alcohol to child volunteers • Following incidents where 2 sales of alcohol made from the same premises. Northumbria Police took action in Magistrates Court against 4 off-licences and licences were removed.
Later Developments • Introduction of Licensing Act 2003 in November 2005 with the licensing system now placed with the City Council, • Review of Premises Licences by Responsible Authorities now introduced • One review of Premises Licence conducted on an off-licence with suspension of 3 months imposed on appeal to Magistrates Court
Newcastle Alcohol Strategy • “Safe, Sensible and Social in Newcastle upon Tyne” alcohol strategy developed in 2008 • Alcohol Board chaired by Director of Public Health empowered to deliver the alcohol strategy • Objective 4: “To prevent illegal sales to those underage or adults buying on behalf of young people and encourage participation in best practice schemes”.
The Future • Test Purchasing tactic now well tried and tested • However retailers and their employees are well versed and very aware of the tactics employed • Evolution in tactics employed by enforcement authorities with implementation of proxy sales operations – Operation Nestle • The development of operations and tactics through the benefits to emerge from the funding now available from the Baroness Newlove fund. • The uncertainty around future tactics with the development of the new code of practice from the Better Regulation Delivery Office
The End • Thank you all for listening • David Ellerington • (0191) 2116119 email@example.com