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Nearly all off-licensed liquor sellers targeted by a controlled purchase operation (CPO) during the weekend refused to sell alcohol to under-aged volunteers.
The one outlet which did is facing enforcement action from New Plymouth Police and the District Licensing Agency (DLA).
On Sunday (8 JULY), the police and DLA supervised 16-year-old volunteers who went into 22 off-licences in Waitara, Bell Block, Inglewood, Oakura, Okato and New Plymouth to try to buy liquor.
Manager Customer and Regulatory Services for the DLA, Simon Pickford, says 21 of the 22 premises refused the purchase and sent the young people on their way.
“Overall this was a good result with 95 per cent of premises refusing the sales, and we congratulate those licensees, managers and their staff,” he says.
“Bottle stores, grocery stores and supermarkets have clear processes in place, including till prompts that require sellers to seek identification and record the date of birth of those who appear to be under 25, before a sale can take place.”
Police Senior Sergeant Robbie O’Keefe says: “There will be enforcement action taken against the grocery store that did sell to the minor. A report will be sent to the Liquor Licensing Authority where suspension of the manager’s certificates and the premises’ licence will be sought.”