Underage boozing op nets shops and pubs

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A POLICE crackdown found 10 places in Calderdale failing a test for underage boozing.

Officers teamed up with West Yorkshire Trading Standards to check 33 off-licence shops and nine pubs and bars across the district.

They enlisted the help of a group of 13 to 15-year-olds to see whether premises would sell drink to youngsters without asking for proof of age.

They found eight off-licences and two pubs that sold alcohol to the underage teens.

The premises were in Todmorden, Rastrick, Brighouse, Lightcliffe, Southowram, Sowerby Bridge and Halifax. Police issued seven £80 fines to shop assistants and one shop owner was reported for summons for selling alcohol to someone under the age of 18.

Inspector Derek Benn, from Calderdale’s Community Safety Partnership, said: “All owners and supervisors of the premises who made the sales are now being visited and spoken to. Underage drinking has a negative impact on local communities so it is especially important at this time of year that all alcohol retailers understand their responsibilities to assist the police in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour which is often fuelled by alcohol.

“Alcohol is often a key factor in crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour, particularly when it involves young people and we are urging licensees to work with us and be careful during the busy run-up to Christmas.”

The operation coincides with extra checks for drink drivers during the festive season and the re-launch of Operation Northdale – a push to cut the number of sex attacks by boosting safety for town centre revellers. Officers have been working with Street Angels and Community Wardens, handing out anti-drink spiking devices and advice on having a safe night out.