Underage drinkers as young as 15 : police

UNDERAGE drinkers as young as 15 have been found during police spot checks on licensed premises in Batley.

Plain clothed officers targeted more than 40 pubs and clubs across Kirklees.

Unnamed premises on Batleys popular Golden Mile Bradford Road are under review after underage drinkers were found. Another venue in Mirfield closed down voluntarily after a number of problems were identified.

A total of four licensees have had meetings with Kirklees licensing officers for guidance and advice on how to improve the running of their premises.

Sgt John McFadzean, licensing chief with Kirklees police, said that as part of the operation 38 test purchases were carried out where an underage customer attempted to buy alcohol. Only three were served.

Sgt McFadzean said: Just one premises acting outside the licensing laws can cause problems within our communities which is why it is important that we educate the licensees and in some cases take matters further.

The idea is not to catch them out. We simply want them to look at every customer and question their age.

Knowing that test purchasers or mystery shoppers are operating in the area will ensure they are on their guard.

Sgt McFadzean said the overall aim of the campaign was to reduce antisocial behaviour and violent crime involving young people, which was often fuelled by alcohol.

By reducing the number of young people who become heavily intoxicated, we can then reduce the risk of them becoming a victim of violent crime or even a perpetrator, he said.

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