Worthing and Rustington off-licences caught selling booze to children

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AN OFF-LICENCE has been caught selling alcohol to a child just days after its licence was suspended for the same offence.

A member of staff at News Corner in Chapel Road, Worthing, sold alcohol to a 16-year-old police volunteer during a test purchase operation on Thursday (April 23).

The management of the News Corner had appeared before a licensing committee hearing on April 9 after staff were caught by police selling alcohol and tobacco to children.

The shop’s licence was suspended for a week by the committee and extra conditions were applied to the shop. The appeal period for the decision has yet to be concluded so the suspension has not yet taken place.

But just two weeks after the hearing, children were again sold alcohol at News Corner.

The member of staff involved was given a £90 fixed penalty notice and licensing officers are considering what other action should be taken against the management of the business.

During the same test purchase operation, staff at the Best One in Guildford Road, Rustington, and The Station in Station Road, Bognor Regis, were also caught selling alcohol to a child

The management of both premises will be invited to a meeting with the police to discuss the sales.

Neither Wick Mini Market in Wick Parade, Wick, which had previously been caught supplying alcohol to children, and Express Burger, in Station Road, Worthing, sold drink to the volunteers when they were tested.

Sergeant Mike Balmer said: “The sale of alcohol to children remains of great concern to us. There is a direct link between underage drinking and the level of antisocial behaviour and crime that residents in the local community have to endure.

“Shop owners who break the law when selling alcohol not only risk fines but also put their licences at risk.

“These operations send an important message to those who continue to put children in danger that this will not be tolerated. We will continue to carry out test purchases to deal with those who sell alcohol to minors.”