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Newark and Sherwood District Council issue warning to alcohol sellers to ‘Challenge 25’ as part of its Cleaner, Safer And Greener campaign

Off-Licences are being warned of the consequences of selling alcohol to underage drinkers after a number of retailers in Newark and Sherwood failed to ‘Challenge 25’ as part of district council compliancy testing.

Shops were visited to see if they checked customers’ age ID, as set out under the Challenge 25 strategy, which aims to stop alcohol being sold to under-18s.

The exercise was part of a series of actions taken as part of the Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) which was launched in Ollerton, Boughton and Edwinstowe in October 2018 to address alcohol-related issues among young people and as part of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Cleaner, Safer And Greener campaign.

Premises that failed the tests have been warned that selling alcohol to someone under-18 could result in fixed penalty fines, prosecution and loss of their licence to sell alcohol.

Since October, the district council’s licensing team has undertaken a series of Challenge 25 compliancy testing among retailers in the CAP area to ensure anyone who looks under the age of 25 is asked for identification.

District council licensing staff and police have since given retailers in the area, including those that failed the compliancy test, support and training, including safeguarding, conflict resolution, identifying fake identification and how to make a challenge.

In addition, licensing staff at the Asda store in Ollerton are setting up training workshops on licensing issues for smaller retailers to attend to reduce incidents of underage sales across the CAP area.

The district council’s deputy leader, Keith Girling said: “There is growing concern among residents and retailers about the levels of underage drinking in Ollerton, Boughton and Edwinstowe and indeed, other parts of the district.

“One of the main steps is minimising underage sales of alcohol. We will continue to work closely with retailers to ensure that the Challenge 25 strategy is widely adopted to stop alcohol falling into the hands of underage drinkers in the first place.

“Since the launch of the scheme, a wide range of activities and initiatives have taken place across the area with more planned. We are proud to work alongside local schools and Nottinghamshire County Council’s youth service to deliver educational school assemblies around the impacts of underage drinking, but also provide new diversionary youth activities and in turn, create a better and safer community.”

Residents from Ollerton, Boughton and Edwinstowe are also being encouraged to complete the Community Alcohol Partnership baseline resident survey about their views on alcohol-related issues in the area.

Statistics are being gathered to identify particular areas of concern to allow progress to be assessed in the future. The survey can be completed at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YGDJVKH

It is a partnership of retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers.

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