Monday, 8 August 2011

Six Leicester Bars Serving Underage Drinkers


By Ben Aulakh

A total of six city centre bars in Leicester have been caught by police selling alcohol to children during test purchase operation last Thursday.

Staff at The Sun on Churchgate; Lloyds at Market Place; Loft 51 at Belvoir Street; Marz on Belvoir Street; Bar Sirius on Belvoir Street; and Long Bar on Market Street were all caught selling alcohol to underage girls.

PC Jon Webb from the city centre licensing team said he was “disappointed” by the 60 per cent failure rate.

The 60 per cent failure rate for city venues is in stark contrast to a failure rate of only five per cent when 22 City off-licences were visited earlier in the week.

A number of girls between 14 and 16 tried to but booze at a number of bars and pubs in the city centre during the operation.

In only one of these venues were the girls were challenged for identity by a doorman, however he then let the girls in when they said they had none.

Police have praised staff at the Bowlturner’s Arms and the Royal Oak on Belgrave Gate; the Odyssey on Millstone Lane; and Kings on King Street, for refusing to serve the girls.

PC Webb said, “All our volunteers are under 16 and a half years of age and this is partly to ensure staff follow the correct procedures for verifying the customer is old enough to buy alcohol.

He added, “Both girls were representative of their age group and considering all the venues that served have adopted the “Challenge 21” policy, had they adhered to it neither girl would have had any chance of buying alcohol.”

The individual bar staff will be interviewed at a later date, and face the prospect of each paying £80 fixed penalties, the results of the operation could also be used in future licensing reviews of the premises involved.

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