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Latest Controlled Purchase Operations Bring Disappointing Results In Northland

Northland DHB and NZ Police staff conducted two Controlled Purchase Operations at licensed premises throughout Northland this week and are disappointed with the results.

During the two operations, the underage volunteers aged 17 years attempted to purchase alcohol from Off-licensed premises throughout Whangarei and Far North areas. FOUR sales were made to the underage volunteers over the two day operation. The operations resulted in ONE sale from the 20 outlets tested by the enforcement agencies in Whangarei and THREE sales were made from the 16 outlets tested in the Far North.

Sergeant Tai PATRICK, Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer, Kaipara/Whangarei Police said, while the result of the Whangarei operation was encouraging, one sale is one too many. All premises should have good systems and procedures in place to prevent sales to minors. The fallout from youth accessing alcohol is well documented and it is our expectation that premises do not sell to underage. As a community, we need to have confidence that license holders will not sell alcohol to our youth”.

Constable Rasau KALIVATI, Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer, Kerikeri Police said, “It is concerning that our underage volunteers were so easily able to access alcohol from three licensed premises in the Far North. After many years of running these operations, it is very disappointing that these sales occur. The consequences when the licensees are reported to the authorities are significant. Financial implications for errant premises are likely to be a period of suspension of the license, meaning they cannot sell alcohol for a few days. The managers will not be able to work supervising sales of alcohol for about a month. 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”.

Police are following up with those premises that sold alcohol to the volunteer.

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.

Operation statistics:

Off Licensed premises: 36 attempts from 36 premises resulted in FOUR SALES

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