Bars caught in under-age booze sting

THREE Morpeth bars will be taken to task after being caught serving underage customers.

An operation was carried out by the Neighbourhood Policing Team and Trading Standards to identify bars and clubs serving alcohol to under 18s.

Six premises were visited by 15-year-olds, with The White Swan in Newgate Street and Chambers and Shooters in Bridge Street serving the volunteers with no questions asked about identification.

Officers immediately identified the staff responsible for serving the underage youngsters. They were spoken to, along with the managers of the venues.

The volunteers were refused alcohol at the Black Bull and Seen in Bridge Street.

Aruba in the Market Place was also visited and, despite allowing the volunteers to pay to enter, staff asked for identification at the bar and refused to serve them.

Morpeth Neighbourhood Sergeant Dave Simpson said: “This was the second phase of an operation to tackle underage drinking on licensed premises and we’ll be taking action against the staff and management who served alcohol to under 18s.

“These bars have a duty under the Licensing Act not only to prevent crime and disorder, but to prevent harm to children.

“It was positive to see that some of the premises that were checked correctly refused to serve the volunteers and are taking the issue seriously. Morpeth Neighbourhood Policing Team will continue to target licensed premises which are serving alcohol to under 18s or allowing crime and disorder to happen on their premises.”