Pubs fail police check

YOUNGSTERS in Burnham and Highbridge were enlisted to help police crack down on businesses selling alcohol to children. Out of the

YOUNGSTERS in Burnham and Highbridge were enlisted to help police crack down on businesses selling alcohol to children.Out of the 12 premises tested, four pubs and one off-licence failed, resulting in a £80 fine for the person serving the alcohol and the licence holders being investigated by trading standards. Inspector Dale Baker, of Burnham police station, said: "It was pleasing that the majority of off licences were careful and would not sell alcohol if in doubt about a potential purchaser's age. But it is concerning that the pubs, with the exception of JD Wetherspoon's, all allowed alcoholic purchases to be made."While Burnham and Highbridge is a relatively low crime area with a good quality of life, most of the calls we get involving young people engaged in petty crime or antisocial behaviour, have alcohol at the root of the problem."Police officers worked with Somerset Tackling Alcohol Related Crime (STARC) , Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset Primary Care Trust to reduce alcohol-related crime. Mike Ashwin from STARC said: "This problem is not confined to Burnham and a number of initiatives are happening across Somerset to prevent youngsters getting access to alcohol. Parents and guardians have a pivotal role to play in stopping their children coming to harm."Parents are being reminded of their responsibilities with a series of bus advertisements with the slogan 'Do you know what your kids are up to this summer?' Police are also filming antisocial behaviour to use for prosecution purposes and to play back to parents and guardians. County councillor Jim Mochnacz, who is responsible for community safety in Somerset, said: "Reducing the opportunity for underage drinkers to buy alcohol in shops, clubs and pubs is key to reducing antisocial behaviour and criminal damage associated with drinking.

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