An essential part of CAP is the enforcement of laws relating to young people and alcohol including the purchase and sales of alcohol by under 18s. Compliance testing is an integral part of any CAP and usually takes place several times to monitor the effectiveness of retailer training. Our guest blog is by Ed Heaver, Director of Serve Legal, who describes the process:
Serve Legal was established by myself and Julian Sargeson in 2006 to help protect all types of licensed premises against the risk of underage sales. 12 years on we now do over 100,000 audits all over the UK and Ireland working with all the big supermarkets, convenience stores, independent fascias and the various types of pubs and bars.
We have always been keen to position ourselves as an independent organisation that not only works with retailers but also with other public bodies such as Reading Council and the Gambling Commission so we are delighted to be working with CAPs in Farley, Luton and most recently Tower Hamlets using our young looking 18/19 year old auditors to help measure the effectiveness of these schemes. They go into premises to buy age-restricted goods like alcohol to see if ID is requested, such as a photo driving licence, a passport, or a proof of age card such as the PASS card from the national Proof of Age Standards Scheme.
It is great to be a part of something where both commercial and non-profit interests are coming together for a common good. It makes you wonder whether other people might learn from this idea of co-operation leading to benefits for all parties.
The issue of problems around age related sales seems to be growing and whilst alcohol is still by far the most audited product we do, we have seen sharp rises in the audit numbers for knives, vaping liquids and even energy drinks which should remind us all that it is not only alcohol that retailers should be focussing on when looking at their responsible retailing responsibilities.”