ILLEGAL sales of alcohol to underage buyers in Derbyshire are at their lowest level in the last five years, latest checks have revealed.
Derbyshire County Council regularly works with underage volunteers who attempt to buy alcohol in off licences across the county.
Since April, 71 checks have been carried out in the county – with just five shops selling booze to the underage buyers.
The 7% failure rate is the lowest in five years and is a substantial decrease on the 2008/09 failure rate of 26%.
Councillor Kevin Parkinson, DCC’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “I’m encouraged by initial figures from this year’s test purchasing which show Derbyshire’s licensed traders are taking a much more responsible approach to underage drinking than just a few years ago.
“We have a duty to protect the public and the livelihoods of the vast majority of traders who trade legally.
“Our officers take strong action where it is necessary and a number of traders have lost their licence because of underage sales. It is simply not worth taking the risk of making a single sale to an underage buyer.”
The recent checks have taken place in Chesterfield, High Peak, NE Derbyshire and Bolsover, with further tests planned across the county in the months ahead.
County council trading standards officers lead underage alcohol enforcement checks in Derbyshire, working closely with police officers.
Joint visits are used to make local retailers aware of underage sales laws, the ‘Challenge 25’ scheme, and to warn of problems with illicit alcohol and tobacco.