A Porirua supermarket and two other local premises have been caught selling alcohol to minors.
The controlled purchase operation (CPO) was carried out by police, the District Licensing Agency and Hutt Valley District Health Board during the weekend of September 25-26.
Senior Sergeant Steve Sargent said two volunteers, aged 15 and 17, visited 14 off-licences and seven pubs. They managed to buy alcohol at two of the off-licences and one pub.
The latest operation came soon after a KapiMana News article in which Mr Sargent slammed local outlets for repeatedly being found wanting in earlier CPOs. Seven were nabbed in two CPOs in July and August.
Mr Sargent says while it is good that 18 premises refused to serve or allow the teenagers, it shows some are not learning from past mistakes.
‘‘One of the off-licences was a supermarket which was caught in a similar CPO only two months ago. In this instance, the 15-year-old volunteer had selected a small wine gift pack consisting of a small bottle of wine, a small bag of cashew nuts and three chocolates, all of which were in a see-through bag and had a red R18 tag.’’
Mr Sargent says the supermarket didn’t ask the volunteer to produce identification despite the product containing alcohol.
‘‘It’s disappointing that we still have retailers prepared to sell alcohol to minors. We will continue to carry out these CPOs and anyone caught flouting the law can expect to be caught.’’
Applications have been made to the Liquor Licensing Authority for all three premises to have their licences suspended.