Liquor outlet sting nets one offender

Last updated 12:00 22/09/2012

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An undercover sting to see if Palmerston North liquor outlets were selling alcohol to minors netted just one offender.

Twenty-four licensed premises in the city were visited by 16 and 17-year-old girls on Thursday, and only one illegal sale was made.

The girls entered the premises and tried to buy alcohol while watched by a plain-clothes police officer.

New Zealand's liquor laws prohibit alcohol from being sold to anyone under the age of 18.

The outlet that made the sale was an on-licensed site, which can include bars, cafes or restaurants, and the person responsible was the duty manager.

Both the manager and her employer have not yet been named as the matter will likely go before the Liquor Licensing Authority.

Sergeant Glenn Ryan, the Palmerston North police alcohol harm reduction officer, was pleased with the results, as there were 27 attempts made by the girls to buy alcohol at the 24 venues.

"I am, however, disappointed the person responsible for making the sale was the duty manager. It is the duty manager's responsibility to ensure the premises complies with their obligations . . . and on this occasion they failed to do so," Mr Ryan said.

"I don't believe there will be anyone more disappointed than the duty manager concerned."

For the sting the girls visited nine on-licensed premises, seven convenience stores, six bottle stores, a supermarket and Arena Manawatu.

It was a combined operation by the city council liquor licensing inspectors, police and the Health Ministry.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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