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Latest Controlled Purchase Operation a disappointing result

Latest Controlled Purchase Operation brings a disappointing result


A recent Controlled Purchase Operation conducted at licensed premises throughout Whangarei by Northland DHB, NZ Police and Whangarei District Council staff are disappointed at the result.

The operation saw underage volunteers, aged 16 and 17 years, attempting to purchase alcohol from licensed premises in the Whangarei area. During the operation off-licensed premises tested resulted in no sales however, the on-licensed premises tested resulted in two sales.

Sergeant Howard Clement, Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer, Whangarei/Kaipara Police said, ‘This result was very disappointing. The two premises involved should have better systems in place. These sales of alcohol to minors should not be occurring. When applying for a licence, all applicants state they have appropriate systems and procedures in place to prevent the sale of alcohol to underage people. Clearly this is not the case for the premises who sold alcohol to the underage volunteer.

I would like to emphasise to all sellers, that anyone attempting to purchase alcohol who looks under 25 years of age and unable to produce identification, do 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 those 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.

After more than ten years of running the operations, with education, publicity and enforcement, this is poor. The consequences when the licensees are reported to the authorities are significant. There are financial implications and likely to be a period of suspension of the license. This will impact both the business and the managers. All premises selling or supplying alcohol are well 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”.

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


-Ends-

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