Rogue traders should be targeted in future test purchasing operations to have any real effect on underage sales of alcohol, according to shopworkers’ union Usdaw.
In the week that local government regulator Lacors was due to complete the draft of the new Trading Standards test purchasing code of practice, Usdaw said rule changes would have little impact on the industry’s failure rate.
The Home Office will be pushing for controversial changes to encourage child agents to lie about their age when challenged by a shop assistant during test purchases when the draft code goes out to consultation.
Usdaw will be lobbying the government to prevent such measures coming into force. General secretary John Hannett said: “We think changing the way test purchases are carried out will have little impact on failure rates, especially as the trend is clearly down.
“Instead we think test purchases need to be aimed at those rogue retailers who routinely sell alcohol to young people where a test purchase will have a strong chance of securing convictions.”