The ArgusFive Brighton bars caught selling alcohol to underage drinkers (From The Argus)

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Five Brighton bars caught selling alcohol to underage drinkers

The Argus: Five Brighton bars caught selling alcohol to underage drinkers Five Brighton bars caught selling alcohol to underage drinkers

Five bars have been caught selling alcohol to underage teenagers in what police have called a “widespread” problem.

The test purchase operation saw 17-year-old police cadets sent into pubs, bars and clubs across Brighton and Hove.

The venues which served them were Synergy, in Middle Street, The Royal Pavilion Tavern, in Castle Square, The Haunt, in Pool Valley, The Fishbowl, in East Street and Molly Malone's, in West Street.

Police bosses are now considering asking for their licences to be stripped following new strict government guidance.

Jean Irving, Sussex Police licensing and public safety manager, said: "We thought there was an issue with a few premises in the city who we had received intelligence about, which indicated they knew they were selling drink to children and didn't seem to care.

"This operation has made us very concerned that this isn't an isolated problem but a widespread one in the city.”

During the operation only two of the five venues asked the 17-year-olds for ID. They were allowed in even after telling door staff they did not have any.

Once inside all venues sold the teenagers alcohol.

The management in each venue blamed the door staff despite all committing to a two-stage defence against underage drinkers - the door staff first but then the bar staff second.

As well as the threat of the venues losing their licence, bar staff were issued with £90 on the spot fines.

Officers are also looking into the possibility that during the operation door staff at some venues tipped off others that licensing officers were testing pubs, clubs and bars.

Chief Inspector Katy Woolford said: "These are very disappointing results which indicate there is a lot of work still to do with a number of venues that are willing to sell alcohol to children.

"They have a duty of care to keep people safe, particularly the vulnerable such as children, which is clearly not the case in these five instances."

As part of the operation on Friday, officers also checked venues which had previously been caught selling alcohol to underage punters.

However, Wahoo, in West Street, The Funfair Club, in Kings Road, and Al Nakhl, in West Street, all asked to see ID when teenage police cadets tried to go in and refused to serve them alcohol.

Comments (16)

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7:54am Tue 20 May 14

rogerthefish says...

It's the same security firm that controls most of the doors so obviously they are going to contact each other.
It's the same security firm that controls most of the doors so obviously they are going to contact each other. rogerthefish
  • Score: 14

9:27am Tue 20 May 14

independant and proud says...

The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down.
The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down. independant and proud
  • Score: -4

10:06am Tue 20 May 14

Fight_Back says...

The implication by the police that bars tipping off other bars of the operation might be illegal is somewhat worrying. Surely it achieves exactly the same result - the bars that have been tipped off will ensure they don't serve underage drinkers ? It reminds me of when the police get their knickers in a twist because drivers flash their lights to warn other drivers of an up and coming speed trap.
The implication by the police that bars tipping off other bars of the operation might be illegal is somewhat worrying. Surely it achieves exactly the same result - the bars that have been tipped off will ensure they don't serve underage drinkers ? It reminds me of when the police get their knickers in a twist because drivers flash their lights to warn other drivers of an up and coming speed trap. Fight_Back
  • Score: 10

10:06am Tue 20 May 14

Mel Shock says...

independant and proud wrote:
The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down.
And then what ?
It is very difficult to tell peoples ages, especially girls!!! but ID should have been asked for and checked.........

However I think stripping licenses is a bad idea !! and a touch OTT
[quote][p][bold]independant and proud[/bold] wrote: The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down.[/p][/quote]And then what ? It is very difficult to tell peoples ages, especially girls!!! but ID should have been asked for and checked......... However I think stripping licenses is a bad idea !! and a touch OTT Mel Shock
  • Score: 6

10:15am Tue 20 May 14

s&k says...

And you wonder why the place is a no-go zone at the weekend?
And you wonder why the place is a no-go zone at the weekend? s&k
  • Score: 9

12:04pm Tue 20 May 14

Mr chock says...

independant and proud wrote:
The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down.
caroline lucas did something about a pub "rose hill tavern .. last orders ?"
wonder what her views are about this POOR POOR EXCUSE
The management in each venue blamed the door staff despite all committing to a two-stage defence against underage drinkers - the door staff first but then the bar staff second. "i can understand the door staff letting in youth its clearly just take the money and the risk of a fine is minimal how much .. £90 ...
[quote][p][bold]independant and proud[/bold] wrote: The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down.[/p][/quote]caroline lucas did something about a pub "rose hill tavern .. last orders ?" wonder what her views are about this POOR POOR EXCUSE The management in each venue blamed the door staff despite all committing to a two-stage defence against underage drinkers - the door staff first but then the bar staff second. "i can understand the door staff letting in youth its clearly just take the money and the risk of a fine is minimal how much .. £90 ... Mr chock
  • Score: 1

2:09pm Tue 20 May 14

Tallywhacker says...

Fight_Back wrote:
The implication by the police that bars tipping off other bars of the operation might be illegal is somewhat worrying. Surely it achieves exactly the same result - the bars that have been tipped off will ensure they don't serve underage drinkers ? It reminds me of when the police get their knickers in a twist because drivers flash their lights to warn other drivers of an up and coming speed trap.
Agree. The deterrent has more use then just catching them out, in both cars and bars. Caught out 5 pubs but deterred many more after the word got out. Same with the cars, they should have huge signs for mobile cameras so they deter hundreds of cars from speeding rather than catching a few. Stopping a crime from happening is a lot better and cheaper than solving one after .
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: The implication by the police that bars tipping off other bars of the operation might be illegal is somewhat worrying. Surely it achieves exactly the same result - the bars that have been tipped off will ensure they don't serve underage drinkers ? It reminds me of when the police get their knickers in a twist because drivers flash their lights to warn other drivers of an up and coming speed trap.[/p][/quote]Agree. The deterrent has more use then just catching them out, in both cars and bars. Caught out 5 pubs but deterred many more after the word got out. Same with the cars, they should have huge signs for mobile cameras so they deter hundreds of cars from speeding rather than catching a few. Stopping a crime from happening is a lot better and cheaper than solving one after . Tallywhacker
  • Score: 4

4:02pm Tue 20 May 14

jay316 says...

Do we know for sure that Pubs tipped each other off, and I am sure there is a lot of police cadets.. I would be surprised if they used the same ones all night!

I agree, Door Staff should be accountable for allowing under age people in. Bar staff are working on the assumption that Door Staff have checked, but if in doubt check again!. Bar staff 90£ is a nights wage!
Do we know for sure that Pubs tipped each other off, and I am sure there is a lot of police cadets.. I would be surprised if they used the same ones all night! I agree, Door Staff should be accountable for allowing under age people in. Bar staff are working on the assumption that Door Staff have checked, but if in doubt check again!. Bar staff 90£ is a nights wage! jay316
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Tue 20 May 14

taz4242 says...

Ohh dear the old tactic by the police and council license officials put a group of 17yr olds that look like there 25 or older together and see how many business you can destroy !!
Ohh dear the old tactic by the police and council license officials put a group of 17yr olds that look like there 25 or older together and see how many business you can destroy !! taz4242
  • Score: -3

10:03pm Tue 20 May 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Amazing how this problem still can't be solved, it's been going on for decades. The door staff involved should be sacked and the people who have the licence should be put on final warning - that would stop it but money and profit is always more important.
Amazing how this problem still can't be solved, it's been going on for decades. The door staff involved should be sacked and the people who have the licence should be put on final warning - that would stop it but money and profit is always more important. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 1

2:21am Wed 21 May 14

huntersg says...

I feel the implication that the bars and clubs 'knew they were selling drink to children and didn't seem to care.' a bit of a stretch. As much as they may ultimately be concerned about profits i'm sure they are all aware of the greater consequences of losing their license, and they are all busy enough places to not have to rely on this risky revenue. As much as the license holder is to blame for serving the alcohol this article seems to let the bouncers off scott free when ultimately there job is to monitor who is going in to the bar.And lets face it, as much as underage drinking is an issue, particularly in Britain, a few 17 year olds having a drink in a pub a few months before they're legal is surely less of an issue that the 14-15 year olds drinking at places such as the level and private properties, where there is less monitoring of the levels they consume and no one to look out for them if things go awry. The potential loss of these great venues is saddening.
I feel the implication that the bars and clubs 'knew they were selling drink to children and didn't seem to care.' a bit of a stretch. As much as they may ultimately be concerned about profits i'm sure they are all aware of the greater consequences of losing their license, and they are all busy enough places to not have to rely on this risky revenue. As much as the license holder is to blame for serving the alcohol this article seems to let the bouncers off scott free when ultimately there job is to monitor who is going in to the bar.And lets face it, as much as underage drinking is an issue, particularly in Britain, a few 17 year olds having a drink in a pub a few months before they're legal is surely less of an issue that the 14-15 year olds drinking at places such as the level and private properties, where there is less monitoring of the levels they consume and no one to look out for them if things go awry. The potential loss of these great venues is saddening. huntersg
  • Score: 2

7:52am Wed 21 May 14

pumba1 says...

When police catch little corner shops selling alcohol to under age kids is taking back their alcohol licence straight with no any questions. How come police is now considering what to do about it? Answer is very simple, take their licences back and shout down bloody places. How policemen will feel if that is his kid going to one of this places and being serve alcohol? I'm sure he will do all he can in his power to shout down that place.
When police catch little corner shops selling alcohol to under age kids is taking back their alcohol licence straight with no any questions. How come police is now considering what to do about it? Answer is very simple, take their licences back and shout down bloody places. How policemen will feel if that is his kid going to one of this places and being serve alcohol? I'm sure he will do all he can in his power to shout down that place. pumba1
  • Score: -1

7:55am Wed 21 May 14

pumba1 says...

jay316 wrote:
Do we know for sure that Pubs tipped each other off, and I am sure there is a lot of police cadets.. I would be surprised if they used the same ones all night!

I agree, Door Staff should be accountable for allowing under age people in. Bar staff are working on the assumption that Door Staff have checked, but if in doubt check again!. Bar staff 90£ is a nights wage!
And door staff 5h shift is £50 wage how about that???
[quote][p][bold]jay316[/bold] wrote: Do we know for sure that Pubs tipped each other off, and I am sure there is a lot of police cadets.. I would be surprised if they used the same ones all night! I agree, Door Staff should be accountable for allowing under age people in. Bar staff are working on the assumption that Door Staff have checked, but if in doubt check again!. Bar staff 90£ is a nights wage![/p][/quote]And door staff 5h shift is £50 wage how about that??? pumba1
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Wed 21 May 14

Elgabalus says...

"They have a duty of care to keep people safe, particularly the vulnerable such as children, which is clearly not the case in these five instances."

How vulnerable were the 17 year old Police Cadets... Is this really what the Police Force in Sussex thinks will get them a FAIR up from POOR rating in the HMIC Report on solving serious crime
"They have a duty of care to keep people safe, particularly the vulnerable such as children, which is clearly not the case in these five instances." How vulnerable were the 17 year old Police Cadets... Is this really what the Police Force in Sussex thinks will get them a FAIR up from POOR rating in the HMIC Report on solving serious crime Elgabalus
  • Score: 1

1:35pm Wed 21 May 14

truescouser says...

pumba1 wrote:
When police catch little corner shops selling alcohol to under age kids is taking back their alcohol licence straight with no any questions. How come police is now considering what to do about it? Answer is very simple, take their licences back and shout down bloody places. How policemen will feel if that is his kid going to one of this places and being serve alcohol? I'm sure he will do all he can in his power to shout down that place.
you would make more of an impact with what you are saying if you learned to speak/write English properly. it's not just you, mind - illiteracy seems to be on the rise in this country.
[quote][p][bold]pumba1[/bold] wrote: When police catch little corner shops selling alcohol to under age kids is taking back their alcohol licence straight with no any questions. How come police is now considering what to do about it? Answer is very simple, take their licences back and shout down bloody places. How policemen will feel if that is his kid going to one of this places and being serve alcohol? I'm sure he will do all he can in his power to shout down that place.[/p][/quote]you would make more of an impact with what you are saying if you learned to speak/write English properly. it's not just you, mind - illiteracy seems to be on the rise in this country. truescouser
  • Score: 1

9:23am Thu 22 May 14

DC Brighton says...

Mr chock wrote:
independant and proud wrote:
The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down.
caroline lucas did something about a pub "rose hill tavern .. last orders ?"
wonder what her views are about this POOR POOR EXCUSE
The management in each venue blamed the door staff despite all committing to a two-stage defence against underage drinkers - the door staff first but then the bar staff second. "i can understand the door staff letting in youth its clearly just take the money and the risk of a fine is minimal how much .. £90 ...
That is half a week's wages when you are on bar staff wages. It is not minimal at all. And believe me, it will be the bar person and not the proprietor who will have to stump this up.
[quote][p][bold]Mr chock[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]independant and proud[/bold] wrote: The only way to deal with this problem is to shut the pubs/clubs down.[/p][/quote]caroline lucas did something about a pub "rose hill tavern .. last orders ?" wonder what her views are about this POOR POOR EXCUSE The management in each venue blamed the door staff despite all committing to a two-stage defence against underage drinkers - the door staff first but then the bar staff second. "i can understand the door staff letting in youth its clearly just take the money and the risk of a fine is minimal how much .. £90 ...[/p][/quote]That is half a week's wages when you are on bar staff wages. It is not minimal at all. And believe me, it will be the bar person and not the proprietor who will have to stump this up. DC Brighton
  • Score: 1

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