September 10, 2022
Five businesses failed to prevent the sale of alcohol or vape products to minors during the test purchase operations carried out by the Trading Standards officers from Newham Council.
Overall the planned test purchase operations were a success, with a total of 31 businesses visited passing successfully, and preventing the sale of age-restricted products.
The test purchases saw young people, under the age of 18, attempting to purchase alcohol and vapes from a number of different businesses in the borough.
The failed shops will now be investigated as part of Trading Standards ongoing enquiries, the council said.
“It’s pleasing to see that the majority of businesses tested, successfully refused the sale of age-restricted products to minors,” Councillor Carleene Lee-Phakoe, Cabinet Member for Crime & Community Safety, said.
“Businesses need to be extra vigilant, and prevent the sale of such products to those who are underage, and I’m glad to see that our local businesses are doing so. We will continue to carry out testing and we will stop the minority who are breaking the rules. It’s not acceptable in Newham to sell age-restricted products to our young people.”
The council said it will continue to run these test purchase operations and has noticed that the level of compliance has increased since last year.
£25,000 of illegal tobacco seized
Meanwhile, Trading Standards, with the help of specialist detection dogs, tracked down and seizes illegal tobacco worth £25,000 at the weekend in the borough.
The crackdown was part of Operation CeCe, a national campaign that focuses on joint working between Trading Standards and HM Revenue and Customs.
The investigations remain ongoing and the seized products will now be fully assessed as part of the inquiry to determine the exact offences that have been committed, the council said.
“Illegal tobacco is dangerous and through our trading standards operations we are taking direct action to protect our residents by removing these harmful substances,” Cllr Lee-Phakoe said.
“Illegal cigarettes often do not include correct health warnings and appear in colourful packaging as opposed to the legal standardised packaging which uses only one specific deep green colour.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all those involved in this operation. This work has been fantastic and will protect and benefit many of our residents.”