Police, Council and Public Health representatives are very pleased that no sales of alcohol were made to minors during a covert operation in the Hutt Valley last Friday night.
Sergeant Dean Gifford, acting Licensing Sergeant, Lower Hutt Police, says the controlled purchase operation used two 14-year-old and 16-year-old volunteers to target off licensed premises in Lower and Upper Hutt areas.
Working under the supervision of police, Regional Public Health and Hutt City Council, the two teams set out to test the compliance level from off licenses relating to sales of alcohol to people aged under 18 years.
"We visited 25 off licences and are delighted that no sales were made to the volunteers," Sergeant Gifford says. "The off licenses visited were the smaller dairies, grocery operations and bottles stores. The staff on duty were very aware of their obligations under the Sale of Liquor Act and showed they were serious about protecting our young people from liquor abuse.
"Our aim was to have no sales so we're very happy with the result. The premises visited will all be getting follow up letters encouraging them to keep up the good work."
Sergeant Gifford says the operation was run as part of an overall campaign to reduce alcohol related harm in the Valley. A similar operation last October resulted in one sale being made.
"There will be more operations in the future focusing on alcohol abuse and Sale of Liquor Act breaches," he says. "We'll also be targeting bars in both Lower and Upper Hutt."
Media contact: Dean Gifford, Lower Hutt Police Liquor Licensing,
tel Lower Hutt Police on 560 2600