Lambeth fines traders thousands of pounds for selling knives and alcohol to underage kids

12 April 2019

Written by: Lambeth Council

Community Safety - News and announcements

Our Trading Standards team have had a very successful month of prosecutions for the sale of alcohol and knives to children under 18, helping to make young people in Lambeth safer.

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Lambeth fines traders thousands of pounds for selling knives and alcohol to underage kids

Four local businesses have recently been prosecuted by Lambeth Trading Standards for offences relating to the sale of alcohol and knives to children under 18 years of age.

The Trading Standards team have been working hard to keep young people in Lambeth safe by making it harder for them to purchase knives and alcohol in the borough. They are just one of many teams across the council who are contributing to our public health approach to tackling violent crime.

The prosecutions resulted in hefty fines and in some cases the removal of licences to sell alcohol.

Cllr Mohammed Seedat said “Selling tobacco, alcohol or knives to underage children is a form abuse and as these cases show we will prosecute those who break the law.

“Our trading standards team do vital work in partnership with the police to ensure that young people in Lambeth do not have access to knives or alcohol from local shops and we would encourage anyone with concerns about a local premises to report them to us.”

Alcohol sold to a 15-year-old girl

The licence holder of the ‘On the Go’ off-licence on Station Road, Brixton, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £1980 for supplying alcohol to a person under the age of 18.

District Judge Stone sitting at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court heard that a bottle of wine was sold to a 15 year old girl during a test purchasing operation conducted by Trading Standards Officers in conjunction with the Police. The purchaser had not been questioned about her age nor asked to provide any identification despite being obviously underage.

The store manager failed to provide adequate supervision of a lone staff member who had difficulty communicating in English, a breach of the shop’s licensing conditions.

knife sold to an underage teenager

Hearne Hill Builder Centre based on Railton Road, Herne Hill was fined £276 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £789 to the London Borough of Lambeth by Camberwell Green Magistrates Court for selling a knife to a 15-year-old girl.

The Court heard that on 14 August 2018, a sales assistant employed by the defendant company sold a retractable knife to the 15-year-old during a test purchasing exercise which was being conducted by Lambeth Council’s Trading Standards Officers in partnership with the Metropolitan Police. The sale of the knife was made to the underage test purchaser without asking any questions about her age.

The Magistrates heard that investigations conducted by Trading Standards Officers revealed that the defendant company had not taken steps that could have prevented the sale such as staff training and the introduction of a ‘Challenge 25’ policy.

Community service and fines for underage alcohol sales

The License holder and the Designated Premises Supervisor of an off-licence trading as Ever Fresh Food & Wine on Brixton Road were prosecuted after a 17 year old shop assistant sold wine to a 15 year old girl.

The license holder was ordered to carry out 100 hours community service and cover the costs of prosecution, the supervisor was fined £300 and also contributed to the prosecution costs.

Both defendants had been convicted at an earlier hearing on 21 November 2018 for offences arising from another underage sale of alcohol from the same premises they were fined and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1029 and £1334 respectively.

Shop caught selling alcohol to underage kids TWICE in two months

Seven Eleven Foods Ltd trading as ‘Londis’ on Clapham High Street and it’s Premises License Holder pleaded guilty to selling alcohol on two separate occasions to purchasers who were below the legal age of 18.

The Court heard that the first offence took place in August 2018 when a bottle of wine was supplied to a 14 year old purchaser during a test purchasing operation. The sale was made by a sales assistant and no questions were asked as to the purchaser’s age nor was she asked to provide any form of identification.

Just two months after the first offence, another sale was made to a 15-year-old girl in the same circumstances as the first incident. The Court heard that on both occasions the supervisor was on the premises serving customers alongside the sales assistants who had made the illegal sales to the underage purchasers.

In passing sentence District Judge Izzett stated that this was a serious matter and that he had taken a lenient view in light of the defendants’ financial circumstances, sentencing the defendants to fines and costs totalling £2190. Seven Eleven Foods Ltd and the licence holder were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £150.

If you have any concerns about a shop selling alcohol or knives to underage kids, please report it to our Trading Standards Team by emailing or on 03454 04 05 06.