A POLICE inspector has raised concerns over the number youngsters drinking in Burton after five premises sold alcohol to children in a series of test purchases.
The tests were part of a Staffordshire Police led crackdown – Operation Safer Nights - on the sale of alcohol to underage drinkers in the county.
Only Bar Fever, in High Street, and the Anchor Inn, in New Street, refused to sell alcohol to the children during the test, which targeted pubs, clubs and bars in the town.
The force will now work with East Staffordshire Borough Council – the licensing authority – to review the licences of the premises which failed.
Inspector Jed White, a licensing inspector with Staffordshire Police, said the premises which failed the tests will be named when the review process begins.
He said: “We want to say ‘well done’ to the two premises which passed the test because their door staff refused them entry.”
Insp White said out of 40 premises tested in the county, 23 – or 63 per cent – sold alcohol to underage volunteers during the operation.
He said: “It is really concerning that such a large number are selling to volunteers.
“We believe we are being fair because we are sending in people who look young and under 18 years of age.
“If you saw their pictures you would say there was no way they could serve these people.
“You see a lot of young people being taken to hospital because of alcohol so we wanted to see how easy it is for them to buy it – we found that it was really easy.”
Philip Somerfield, head of regulatory services for the borough council, said: “It is disappointing that licensed premises within East Staffordshire have served alcohol to those underage.
“The premises have a duty under the Licensing Act to prevent harm to children.
“The borough council takes the sale of alcohol to children extremely seriously.
“Not only is it illegal but it exposes children to harm and can contribute to anti social behaviour.”