PREMISES that sell age-restricted products to underage buyers in Caerphilly county borough are being targeted with the help of youngsters.

Caerphilly council’s Trading Standards Service received 53 complaints about underage sales of alcohol and tobacco in the county borough during the past financial year.

To investigate these complaints, Trading Standards sought the help of teenage volunteers to carry out 77 test purchase attempts for alcohol, tobacco and fireworks.

In five of these cases alcohol was sold to underage purchasers. Two successful prosecutions have already been carried out against retailers who failed to question the age of the buyer, who was under 18, while a further three prosecutions are still ongoing.

Four fixed penalty notices for disorder were also issued. The Trading Standards Service also received four complaints about ‘proxy’ sales – where premises sell age-restricted products to adults who purchase the items on behalf of young people under the age of 18.

These complaints continue to be investigated with the co-operation of Gwent Police. To report premises selling alcohol, tobacco or spray paints to under-18s, call Trading Standards on 01495 235291.