Stores urged to join drinking crackdown

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SHOPOWNERS in Wigan are being urged to join forces in a major crackdown on underage children buying booze and cigarettes.

They are being asked to support the No ID, No Sale! campaign to prevent youngsters buying alcohol, tobacco and other age-restricted goods.

Storeowner Kevin Birchall, who runs Birchall News, in Union Street, Leigh, has reminded his staff that they face a fine of up to £10,000 if caught persistently selling alcohol to under-18s.

Mr Birchall said: “We have no wish to supply alcohol or cigarettes to children and we offer our younger customers a CitizenCard form which means they can prove their age.

“Every week we face dozens of attempts to buy alcohol and tobacco by young people and if they cannot present valid ID we always refuse the sale.”

Leigh MP Andy Burnham said that following the new government’s decision to abolish National ID cards, schemes such as CitizenCard were essential.

He said: “I’m urging all young adults in Leigh to obtain a CitizenCard or similar ID that contains the police-endorsed PASS hologram.

“Only then can retailers fully implement the ‘No ID, No Sale!’ policy which allows adults to buy whatever they wish whilst ensuring that children cannot buy alcohol, tobacco and other restricted goods.”