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Due to essential maintenance the following services will be unavailable on Saturday 20 April:

Trading standards - age restricted sales

We work closely with Avon and Somerset Police in test purchasing projects where covert under-age test purchase volunteers are sent into shops and attempt to buy age restricted goods​.

We offer advice and education to traders on how to avoid making illegal sales of age-restricted products to young people, but if you continue to sell goods to young people, you could be prosecuted, or in the case of alcohol, have your licence to sell alcohol taken away.

Under age sales and anti-social behaviour

The problems of anti-social behaviour are often linked to under age sales of goods. If we can cut the access young people have to age-restricted goods, anti-social behaviour may be reduced.

The law

The law makes it a crime for traders to sell certain goods to young people.  You must be over 18 to purchase:

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes/tobacco
  • Fireworks
  • Butane lighter refills
  • Knives

You must be over 16 to purchase:

  • Spray paints
  • Petrol
  • Liqueur chocolates
  • Lottery tickets and scratch cards
  • Video games, DVDs and films can have 12, 15 or 18 age limits

Test purchasing volunteers

We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help us with our test purchasing projects. If you are between 13 and 16 and show a good level of maturity, ask your parents to apply on your behalf.

Advice and guidance

Further information is available but if you cannot find what you require, please get in touch. Information about the Age Restricted Products and Services Framework and the Better Regulation Delivery Office’s Code of Practice on Age Restricted Products are available also.

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