Some of the vapes that were seized during the Easter test purchasing operations

Underage testers sold alcohol and vapes in sting operations

Underage teenage testers were able to buy alcohol and vapes at eight businesses across Lancashire during a test purchasing crackdown during the Easter period.

Officers from Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards team joined forces with Lancashire Constabulary to carry out age-restricted purchase attempts at 49 shops and licensed premises across the county.

Volunteers aged 13 to 16 were able to purchase alcohol or vapes at eight of the businesses tested, in Rossendale, Fleetwood, South Ribble, Preston and the Fylde. Penalty charge notices were issued by Lancashire Constabulary for the alcohol sales and enforcement action will be considered by Trading Standards for the vape sales.

Trading Standards officers also seized more than 590 non-compliant vapes during the operation.

Trading Standards manager Angela Lomax said: "Although we are pleased that the vast majority of the businesses that were tested did not sell to the volunteers, we are still disappointed that eight still chose to sell alcohol and vapes to children.

"A robust 'Check 25' policy is the best way for businesses to eliminate sales to underage customers.

"We encourage anyone who has concerns about the sale of any age-restricted products to report these to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helpline on 0808 223 1133."

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors.

We carried out 5 operations during this period :

  • One in Rossendale together with police
  • One in Fleetwood together with police
  • One in South Ribble together with police and South Ribble Borough Council Licensing
  • One in Preston with police and Preston City Council Licensing
  • One in Fylde with police

In total we tested:

  • 13 premises for e-cigarettes – 4 premises sold
  • 35 premises for alcohol – 4 premises sold
  • 1 shop tested for cigarettes – no sale made