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Pub named and shamed in test purchase.

A BID to stop underage drinking has been launched in Bedlington.

A test purchase operation - involving an underage volunteer visiting pubs and off licences and attempting to buy alcohol - has been carried out.

On Friday, July 26, a number of pubs were visited in Bedlington and the underage volunteer was served alcohol in the Grapes pub, in Front Street.

The staff member was given an PS80 penalty notice and the local authority will be carrying out a follow up visit with the licensee.

Bedlington Neighbourhood Insp Karen Murray said: "Operations like this are an important part of tackling underage drinking in the area and we run them regularly.

"We have a good relationship with the licensees in the town and it's positive to see the majority of them being responsible, challenging underage drinkers and checking for ID before they serve alcohol.

"Underage drinking is linked to wider problems such as anti-social behaviour and disorder - so it's vital that we continue to work with partners to continue to address it."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: "It's vital pubs and bars play their part in keeping crime down and protecting their customers, and this includes ensuring the people they are serving are over 18.

"I'm well aware of the issues which underage drinking presents and I'm determined police and partner agencies continue to work together to target outlets which flout the law."

Coun David Ledger, portfolio holder for Northumberland County Council's public protection service, said: "This operation was conducted as part of a concerted effort by Northumbria Police and the county council to prevent the access of alcohol to underage people from public houses.

"We are disappointed that there were any sales during this operation and will be addressing issues specifically with two of the licensees as their staff exhibited behaviour which was not considered effective enough."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 9, 2013
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