MEDIA RELEASES

Latest Controlled Purchase Operation brings shocking result

A Controlled Purchase Operation at off-licensed premises in Whangarei has shocked NZ Police and Northland DHB staff who conducted it.

During the operation, two volunteers aged 17 attempted to purchase alcohol from off-licensed premises. Three of the nineteen off-licensed premises sold to the under-age teens.

Whangarei Police alcohol harm reduction officer, sergeant Howard Clement, says the result was a ‘shocker’.

“The premises involved should have had better systems in place regarding the sale of alcohol to minors. This operation highlights how easily our youth are able to access alcohol from licensed premises in Whangarei.”

Northland DHB and Police have been running joint Controlled Purchase Operations (CPOs) in Northland for almost ten years.  Says sergeant Clement: “I do not expect that sales of alcohol should be occurring. The fallout from youth accessing alcohol is well-documented. As a community, we need to have confidence that license holders will not sell alcohol to our youth. This latest operation has shown that systems have become lax and considerable improvement is required. All licensees and their staff should assess the age of anyone who appears under the age of 25 by insisting on a form of photo identification. No photo identification, no sale - it is that simple.”

CPOs are part of an ongoing programme to assess compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 in an effort to address the access to alcohol by minors. In accordance with the Act, applications for suspension or cancellation of license and managers’ certificates will be made for those premises who failed the CPO.

Operation statistics:

  • Off Licensed premises: 19 premises resulted in three sales


Recent Controlled Purchase Operation Statistics – Whangarei

  • Feb 2014: 14 Attempts – 1 Sale
  • Jun 2014: 17 Attempts – 2 Sales
  • Aug 2014: 16 Attempts – No Sales
  • Dec 2014: 16 Attempts – No Sales
  • Feb 2015: 19 Attempts – 3 Sales


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