Staff from Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service, Hutt City Council, and NZ Police were pleased with the overall result of a recent Controlled Purchase Operation conducted at licensed premises in Lower Hutt.
Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act it is illegal for an under 18-year-old to buy alcohol from a licensed premises, however, there is one exception. A police officer may request an under 18-year-old to purchase alcohol in the course of the police officer’s duties. This enables a police officer, often in partnership with the Medical Officer of Health and a Licensing Inspector, to check that alcohol outlets are complying with law by not supplying alcohol to a minor. Police undertake such Controlled Purchase Operations on a regular basis.
This recent operation, which was led by Police, involved an underage volunteer attempt to purchase alcohol from 21 premises in the Lower Hutt region. There were NO sales made from the 21 outlets visited.
Senior Sergeant Shane Benge, Manager Alcohol Harm Prevention, said, “This is a great result from the 21 premises visited in the greater Lower Hutt area. The licensed premises had good systems in place, where identification was asked for on every occasion, and the underage volunteer was politely refused the ability to purchase.”
Dr Stephen Palmer, Medical Officer of Health, said, “Compliance training is really paying off, and we appreciate retailers ensuring their staff effectively follow their training to prevent sale to minors.”
If there are any concerns about the sale and supply of alcohol to minors in your community, or you have any questions around the sale or supply of alcohol, please contact the Police Alcohol Harm Prevention Office or the Council Licensing Inspectors.