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Latest Controlled Purchase Operations results disappointing

Media Statement

March 20, 2017

Latest Controlled Purchase Operations results disappointing

Two recent Controlled Purchase Operations conducted at licensed premises throughout Northland by Northland DHB and NZ Police staff has resulted in a very disappointing result.

The operations saw underage volunteers, aged 17 years, attempting to purchase alcohol from licensed premises in the greater Bay of Islands and the greater Whangarei areas. The operations resulted in FOUR SALES overall, TWO sales from the 18 outlets tested in the Bay of Islands operation and TWO sales from the 16 outlets tested in the Whangarei operation.

Senior Sergeant John FAGAN, Area Prevention Manager, Whangarei/Kaipara Police said, “Whangarei Police are disappointed that two premises in our area have failed the Controlled Purchase Operation. All premises selling or supplying alcohol are aware that we run these types of operations regularly so should not be surprised that they are being tested. We expect that all premises should guard against sales to young persons and have the right procedures in place”.

Senior Constable Graeme WRIGHT, Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer, Kerikeri Police said, “The result is extremely disappointing. The premises involved should have better systems in place regarding not selling alcohol to minors. These sales of alcohol should not be occurring. All applicants when they make application for a license to sell alcohol state there are appropriate systems and procedures in place to prevent the sale of alcohol to underage people. Clearly this is not the case for those that sold to the volunteers.

I would like to emphasize that if identification is unable to be produced by anyone attempting to purchase alcohol who looks under 25 years of age, the sellers should not sell the alcohol to them. It is important to stress that a full and proper identification check must be carried out including calculating the age. This is best practice and the only sure way to prevent sales to underage.

As a community, we need to have confidence that license holders will not sell alcohol to our youth and allow them to drink unsupervised and potentially harmfully.

The consequences when the licensees are reported to the authorities are major. This can result in a suspension of their license to sell alcohol for a number of days”.

Controlled Purchase Operations (CPOs) are part of an ongoing programme to assess compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 in an effort to address access to alcohol by minors.

Northland Operation statistics:

Off Licensed premises: 34 attempts from 34 premises resulted in FOUR SALES


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