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Challenge 25 operation

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Dudley Council joined forces with West Midlands Police to carry out undercover spot checks at ten businesses as part of the challenge 25 strategy.

Challenge 25 encourages businesses to ask for acceptable identification from anyone who looks under 25 for the sale of age restricted products.

Trading standards officers together with police officers from Project Guardian carried out checks at ten businesses across Dudley borough earlier this week to test retailer compliance for the sale of knives.

An undercover volunteer visited the shops to check if retailers demanded proof of age in the form of suitable identification, such as a card bearing the PASS hologram, a photographic driving license or a passport.

In total, out of the 10 shops visited, seven retailers failed to request any proof of age and sold the volunteer items that included a machete, meat cleaver and large carving knives.  People need to be 18 to purchase items such as these.

Two retailers refused to sell a knife as the volunteer was unable to prove their age and one shop no longer stocked such items.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for Dudley Trading Standards, said:

This is crucial work to ensure businesses are being responsible and only selling items to people with appropriate age identification.
While the Challenge 25 strategy is not mandatory, it’s a sensible way for responsible businesses to meet the statutory proof of age policy and an effective way of preventing underage sales.
Our dedicated trading standards team will continue to carry out such operations to educate businesses and work together with West Midlands Police to ensure businesses are carrying out adequate checks.

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