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Controlled Purchase Operation Performance Disappointing

30 March 2012

Controlled Purchase Operation Performance Disappointing

NZ Police and the Northland District Health Board are very disappointed with the results of a liquor licence controlled purchase operation, conducted in the Mid North region.

In a recent controlled purchase operation conducted in the mid north, five off-licensed* premises sold alcohol to underage minors (youth under 18 years).

The operation, conducted by The Far North Alcohol Team (FNAT)** recently tested the compliance of 17 off-licensed premises in the Mid North region for selling alcohol to minors under the supervision of NZ Police.

Senior Constable Graeme Wright, Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer, Far North Police says the result was extremely disappointing,

“This operation highlights how easily our youth are able to access alcohol from licensed premises in this region. The Sale of Liquor Act 1989 is well over 20 years old and governs the sale of alcohol to minors. Licensed premises should assess the age of young people by insisting on a form of photo identification from anyone who looks under the age of 25, no photo identification, no sale. It is very simple”.

Senior Constable Wright adds “The increased availability of cheap and/or discounted alcohol available from multiple sources and close to home, attributed to a rise in violence in both domestic and public places. The fallout from youth accessing alcohol is well documented, as a community we need to have confidence that licence holders will not sell alcohol to our youth.

We all need to look at what we are doing in our own homes when consuming alcohol. Family members, supplying alcohol to our youth without supervision should also be addressed.

We will continue to test the licensed premises but people in our communities need to look at what they are doing in their homes as well. ”, says Graeme.

Controlled Purchase Operations are part of an ongoing programme to assess compliance with the Sale of Liquor Act to ensure young people under the age of 18 are not supplied with alcohol.

In accordance with the Act, applications for suspension or cancellation of the license and manager’s certificate for each premise that failed the CPO will be made to the Liquor Licensing Authority.

Operation statistics:

CPO

Off licensed premises: 17 premises resulted in five sales

* An Off-Licence Premises such as Bottle Stores, Taverns, Hotels and Supermarkets allow the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises.

** Far North Alcohol Team (FNAT) - Staff from the Northland District Health Board Public Health Unit, NZ Police and Far North District Council are tasked with monitoring and enforcing the requirements under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.

ENDS

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