In Brief

08 February, 2008

Winchester passes the test

A test purchase sting in Winchester has resulted in a 100 per cent pass rate. All 12 off-licences tested by police refused to sell alcohol to under-age customers. Officers conducted the test purchase operation on

Co-op, Tesco and Spar stores using two 15 year

olds to see if they would be served. A police spokesman said: "I am pleased these results show a marked improvement from the last operation we ran."

Off-licence faces under-21 ban

A Sunderland retailer has been banned from selling alcohol to under-21s at weekends after serving under-18s. On separate Friday nights in August and September, police caught youngsters who had purchased alcohol from Clinton Stores in Clinton Place, East Herrington. Sunderland council's licensing sub-committee decided not to suspend or revoke owner Amrik Singh's licence after hearing that there had been no recurrence of the offence. The under-21 policy will be run on Fridays and Saturdays.

Knives branded at robbery

Masked robbers wielding kitchen knives

raided a Leicestershire off-licence, escaping with £50 cash . The two men entered Buttermarket Off-licence

in Market Place, Mountsorrel, at around 9pm on Jan 24, carrying large kitchen knives

and wearing balaclavas. The raiders are both described as white, between 5ft 8in and 5ft 11in and of medium build.

Rogue trader to get the boot

Police fear a rogue trader in Plymouth is selling teenagers cut-price alcohol out of the boot of a car. Officers have blamed the adult for helping to fuel anti-social behaviour. Licensing officer Sergeant Martin Worthington told local paper The Herald: "We have had intelligence that this is going on: someone driving round a neighbourhood selling alcohol to children. It was an adult. Someone who should know better."

Sunderland stores' reminder

Police in Sunderland have visited every off-licence in the city centre, reminding them that they should not be selling drink to under-18s. Neighbourhood

inspector Steve Tallentire said: "We appreciate most off-licences are well

run and have a positive relationship with police, and these visits will ensure this continues. With their help we can prevent youngsters getting hold of alcohol and reduce drink-related disorder, while protecting them from the dangers of the misuse of alcohol."

UV is key to spotting fake IDs

Lancashire off-licences are using hand-held ultraviolet lights to detect fake IDs.

Retailers in Pendle have been given the UV lights by the council's licensing section to help identify holograms that are invisible to the naked eye. The holograms feature on genuine forms of identification but not on fakes, according to licensing enforcement officer Mick Armfield.


added bonus is that these lights can be used to check for counterfeit currency," he added.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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