Underage sales

We carry out visits to all shops that sell age-restricted products and help them make sure that they don’t break the law.

Age-restricted products

These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Fireworks
  • DVDs
  • Knives and offensive weapons

Buying on behalf of children

It is an offence to buy alcohol on behalf of children. If you are caught you could be issued with an £80 penalty notice or a court could fine you up to £5,000.

Report it

Please contact us if you know of anyone who sells age-restricted products to children, or adults who buy these products on behalf of children.

What we do

We test shops by sending in a young volunteer who tries to purchase one of these products. If you sell to our volunteers you will be prosecuted.

We also investigate cigarettes and alcohol being sold to children from houses.

Volunteer to help with our work

If you are aged 14 to 16 and want to help us with this work, please complete our Mystery Shopper volunteer form.

Strict measures are in place to ensure the safety of volunteers at all times and you must have permission from your parents or carers to take part.

Responsible Retailer Award Scheme

The Responsible Retailer Award Scheme is aimed at people who sell alcohol in licensed premises, specifically off licenses.

Although directed specifically towards alcohol, it also deals with other age-restricted products.

The scheme provides advice, support and training to retailers and their staff. Please contact us to apply to join the scheme.


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