Stores selling fireworks to under-18s

The News &Star exposed three major supermarkets selling fireworks to an under-age shopper who went out with a reporter.
Trading standards chiefs revealed today that six stores, including three supermarkets and two high street shops, were trapped into selling devices to youngsters under the age of 18.
Its investigation found that Tesco, Morrison and Asda all illegally sold fireworks to a 15-year-old, without questioning their age.
Six supermarkets in Carlisle were visited in the run-up to bonfire night, and the child shopper attempted to buy £30 of fireworks in each.
Supplying fireworks to under-18s carries a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine or six months in prison, or both. Retailers must check identification if there is any doubt the customer is under 18.
Councillor Bob Cairns, environmental leader for Edinburgh said today, “It’s completely unacceptable for traders to persist in the sale of fireworks to underage children, despite all the advice and warnings issued by our Trading Standards Officers.
“All retailers in the city, including supermarkets and other major stores, must be made aware of their responsibilities and of the risks involved in selling fireworks to under-18s.

“I am determined that the strongest possible action will be taken against those who flout the law on fireworks, which is there to protect young people.”
Trading standards said they were surprised at the results and would follow them up.
News &Star’s deputy editor Richard Eccles said, “It’s an old favourite sending kids out to try to buy fireworks but this year the idea really turned up trumps for us, catching out Carlisle’s three main supermarkets.
“The result was particularly pleasing for our reporting team as local Trading Standards said their under-age testers had failed to buy any fireworks for the last five years.”
A spokeswoman for Tesco said,”We are disappointed that on this occasion it appears a member of staff did not follow the strict procedures that we have in place on the sale of fireworks. We will be investigating thoroughly and will not hesitate to take any action necessary.”
Asda store duty manager Joan Johnson said, “A full investigation will take place. We have a policy that if you look under 21, then we would ask for identification. We have been busy but it is no excuse.”
Morrison said in a statement, “As a major retailer we take our responsibility with regard to selling fireworks very seriously and have procedures in place designed to ensure that we meet all legal requirements. It is disappointing that on this occasion there appears to have been a lapse in our usual high standards.”

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