One-fifth of shops in Rotherham fail underage alcohol and vape test purchases

A FIFTH of shops failed test purchases by selling alcohol or vapes to under-age customers, a police operation found.

Sixteen-year-old cadets were sent into various commercial premises across Rotherham to check if procedures were being followed.

Three out of 19 stores failed to use Challenge 25 to check the youngsters’ ages for alcohol sales.

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South Yorkshire Police did not name the premises, but said staff had been given £90 fines and ordered to work with the force’s licensing team to ensure rules are followed in future.

Alongside this, a test on vape sales was carried out at 11 shops, with three failing to check if the customer was 18.

The force said these businesses would need to complete follow-up work with Trading Standards to ensure robust measures are in place to challenge the sale of vapes to children.

PC Karen Nuttall said: “These types of initiatives are crucial to ensure that businesses are working with us and other agencies in Rotherham to keep young people safe.

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“Access to alcohol and vapes is restricted to over-18s for a reason and the procedures in place are for everyone’s safety.

“It is disappointing that some businesses are still not employing the relevant checks and challenges for age-restricted products, especially Challenge 25, which has been in existence for years now.

“We will continue to work with our partners in the council and the local business communities to run test purchase operations, and I am grateful to our police cadets for their support in operations like this.”