Saturday, 5 September 2009

Underage sales campaign continues in the Rhondda

Shopkeepers are once again being urged to ensure they know and practice the law after an Ystrad man was fined over £600 for selling alcohol to a 14-year-old girl.

Tariq Majid, of Valley Stores in William Street, sold the female volunteer four cans of Carling lager during one of the many test purchase operations run by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Trading Standards officers regularly across the county.

As a result of the offence on January 30 this year, he was charged and faced Rhondda Magistrates’ Court on Friday (Aug 28) where he admitted the offence.

During the hearing, the court heard the premises license had lapsed as Majid failed to transfer the license to himself from his late father, the former licensee.

Majid was fined £290 and ordered to pay £330 costs and a £15 victim’s surcharge. A note will also be made on its file.

David Jones, Head of Community Protection said: “It is clear some venues are still not getting the message when it comes to the sale of alcohol to those under the age of 18.

“We are working with other partners to ensure we work with licensed premises to support and encourage them to learn and uphold the law, for themselves and their staff. The majority are on board but there are still some who find themselves in court.

“I would once again urge all licensees to do what they can to ensure they are keeping safe, legal premises and to contact us if they need free help and advice to attain that.”

The illegal sale of alcohol to those under the age of 18 is one of the key issues licensed premises must tackle - with the support of partner agencies - if they are to remain the safe, attractive venues that bring services, not problems, to communities.

Despite high profile education and enforcement campaigns, illegal sales are still being made, to the frustration of crime-fighting partners and the communities that suffer from associated youth crime and disorder as a result.

Partners remain committed to preventing the law from being broken in the first place and offer support and advice to licensees and their staff to help them operate legally.

As well as day-to-day advice, funding has recently been secured from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Making the Connections fund to offer specialist training courses, free of charge, to licensees across RCT and Merthyr.

RCT and Merthyr Community Safety Partnerships bid for the money to offer specialist, expert courses that give shopkeepers, staff and those who manage pubs and clubs the tools and skills needed to operate safely, legally and responsibly. Courses include:
  • DPS On-licence sessions for those who manage or own pubs and clubs, which is accredited by the British Innkeepers Institution (BII).
  • Off-Licence courses for those who run such venues, including topics on ethnicity, race relations and the language barriers that often cause issues due to the large number of ethnic minorities who run such shops
  • Award for Responsible Alcohol Retailing, which is a nationally-recognised award also from the BII and is aimed at staff in pubs and clubs in town centres.
A series of sessions have already taken place, with more planned for September 15, 25 and 29th and then a further round in October. All are free and places can be booked on 01443 425351.


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