'Test buyers' target alcohol retailers in Surrey

Police and council officials in Surrey are looking to catch out retailers who sell alcohol to under-age drinkers.

They have taken action against staff at three premises in the Waverley district after sending 16-year-old test buyers to pubs and shops to purchase alcohol.

They issued £80 fixed-penalty notices at Tesco in Portsmouth Road, Milford, and Ridgeway Road, Farnham, and at Esso's Portsmouth Road petrol station.

Police say more such ploys will be used to try to reduce alcohol-related crime.

The three premises were among 12 targeted in the latest crackdown by police, trading standards and Waverley Borough Council officials.

Police said they would follow up their action with further visits to discuss staff training.

A spokesman said: "Persistent failings of any further test-purchasing operations will lead to licences being reviewed."

A spokesman for Esso said: "We are very disappointed that this sale occurred at our Manor Weald service station and will conduct a full investigation.

"This is the first such incident to have occurred in at least the last 18 months at one of our service stations in Surrey."

Tesco have yet to respond to the BBC.

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