The summer's government test purchase campaign was heavily weighted towards the off-trade, with 7,408 drinks shops targeted compared with 1,558 bars and pubs. The campaign saw 166 out of 227 police basic command units in the UK target what they believed to be problem premises, supported by £535,000 in Home Office funding.
Results published by the Home Office show the off-trade failure rate was lower than the on-trade's, at 14 per cent against 18. Rates are the best yet recorded for the off-trade.
The proportion of premises failing at least three test purchases was 1 per cent in both on and off-trades. Seventeen shops failed three stings and now face punishment, which could include a fine, a temporary ban from selling alcohol, or losing their licence.