Posted on: Wednesday 18 August 2021
There has been an increase in the number of complaints about premises in Torfaen selling alcohol, cigarettes and vapes to underage children - some as young as 12.
Last week Torfaen Council's Trading Standards team and Gwent Police carried out a joint operation targeting shops alleged to have sold age-restricted items to young people below the age of 18.
Under-age volunteers were asked to attempt to buy alcohol, cigarettes or vapes from 10 premises. Four shops sold alcohol to the volunteers and one supplied a pre-loaded vape.
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for Environment, said: "It’s disappointing that half of the premises targeted by this operation failed to check the age of the volunteers before agreeing to sell age-restricted items.
"Alcohol and cigarettes are a significant risk to young people's health and they can also harm communities.
"It is illegal to sell alcohol, cigarettes and vapes to anyone under the age of 18. Businesses who do risk being prosecuted and fined, and their licences can be suspended or revoked."
The owners of the five shops were given verbal warnings immediately and have also been sent written warnings to they understand the seriousness of the issues, and prevent further harm to children.
Residents concerned young people are obtaining alcohol or cigarettes and vapes from premises in Torfaen can report their concerns to Trading Standards via email@example.com or to the Police on 101.