Fixed penalty notices have been issued to two licensed premises in Surrey Heath for selling alcohol to underage customers following a joint test purchasing operation.
The operation was carried out by Surrey Police and Surrey Heath Borough Council last Thursday (28 January), with nine licensed premises targeted in Surrey Heath.
Two of the premises failed the test after serving alcohol to the 16-year-old test purchaser, with employees from both of them served with £90 fixed penalty notices. The two premises were Camberley Supermarket in Old Dean Parade, Camberley, and The One Stop shop in Ansell Road, Frimley.
The designated premises supervisors of both premises have been given strong words of advice by police. All staff from both premises will be required to undertake re-training on the licensing laws.
The operation was carried out to prevent alcohol being made available to young people under the age of 18 years in Surrey Heath.
Surrey Heath’s Licensing Officer Rab Carnie said: “Surrey Police works very closely with the licensing trade but where we receive intelligence or concerns from the community that standards at a premises are not being maintained we will seek to prosecute with our colleagues from Surrey Heath Borough Council and Trading Standards.
“Poorly-run premises often have a negative impact on a community and this is one of the tactics we use and will continue to use to deal with any premises that falls below the required standard. Any premises which fails two test purchases within a three month period risks prosecution and a review of the premise’s license.
“It is a proven fact that the misuse of alcohol is a factor in leading young people to behave in an anti-social manner and those businesses that have a licence to sell alcohol have a responsibility to ensure that both the conditions of that licence, and the law, are upheld.”
Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Inspector Bob Darkens said: “It is incumbent upon each and every staff member working in a licensed premise to ensure they act within the law by checking the age of anyone who attempts to buy alcohol if they are in any doubt.
“The manager of the premises should also make training available to all staff on a regular basis. All licence holders must realise that it is their responsibility to ensure everyone working for them follows the letter of the law.”
Insp Darkens added: “My team will continue to carry out these operations, as reducing the availability of alcohol to young people reduces the reports of crime and anti-social behaviour in the local community. We would also continue to encourage the public to report any information about underage alcohol sales straightaway.”
If you have any information about underage alcohol sales, please contact Surrey Police on 101 and ask to speak to your local neighbourhood team.
Improved evidence capturing and quicker outcomes for victims are just two of the benefits of new Body Worn Video cameras that will be available to Surrey Police officers in the future.
The initiative, supported by and using funds made available by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, will see the Force take on more than 1,200 units in March.
Surrey will use the same Reveal devices as those operated in Hampshire,Thames Valley and in Sussex which means there is already a knowledge base to support training, best practice, as well as sharing back office ICT functions.
The key benefits of using BWV are that it allows officers to quickly capture early evidence, which in turn because of its strength and quality can result in early guilty pleas at court and a much faster court process.
This saves victims having to go through the distressing experience of giving evidence in court, while also saving the Force and Crown Prosecution Service valuable time and resources.
The devices will primarily be used by frontline officers around the county.
Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley said: “I am very pleased that Surrey Police will be adopting the use of Body Worn Video as soon as we can procure the units this year.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner I have been keen to encourage the introduction of this enormously effective piece of kit for some time now and I look forward to witnessing the inevitable benefits.”
Detective Superintendent Claire Pridgeon, Director of the Surrey and Sussex Digital Enablement Team, said: “We know that capturing evidence at an early stage is a vital part of our on-going efforts to bring more offenders to justice.
“There are occasions where victims are particularly vulnerable and may be unwilling to attend court, or provide further evidence. However, where early capture of injuries and accounts has taken place, that information can be used at court. This is obviously particularly useful for sensitive cases, such as dealing with the victims of domestic abuse.”
A number of recent studies and reports from across the country also found that public order and assault crimes dropped when frontline officers were wearing BWV – resulting in fewer assaults on police and, potentially, the number of days lost owing to staff being off sick owing to assaults on police being reduced.
In some parts of the UK the introduction of BWV has also led to a reduction in complaints regarding use of force by officers. Metropolitan Police Service officers using BWV stated that 80% of the complaints against them could be disproved using video capture and this increased officer confidence about turning the video on.
D/Supt Pridgeon added: “Another benefit from the use of Body Worn Video is that it helps to increase public awareness of the dangers police face on a daily basis.
“There have been a number of recent incidents where, following a criminal trial, police forces have uploaded BWV footage onto social media in an effort to highlight the risks that officers face on a daily basis. Whilst in some cases this may be distressing it highlights to the general public the lengths police go to in order to keep people safe.”