Pre-festive blitz on Valley's pubs, clubs and off-licences

Council officers will be out and about in the Ribble Valley this week checking that pubs, clubs and off-licenses are operating legally.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 12:30 pm

They will be swooping on the borough’s licensed premises to ensure they are complying with the law.

The premises will face a rigorous eight-point checklist during the unannounced visit and if they don’t get a clean sheet will have just weeks to get their house in order.

The blitz – part of Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from today (November 15th to 21st) – will see licensees and their staff quizzed on a range of issues, such as underage drinking and the Challenge 21 or 25 schemes.

The blitz will see licensees and their staff quizzed on a range of issues, such as underage drinking and the Challenge 21 or 25 scheme

There will be checks on whether staff are properly trained and that their training is documented – and if not they will be signposted to new free online training being provided by Lancashire Trading Standards.

The council officers will also be raising awareness of fake IDs, with examples of what bar and door staff should look out for.

Robert Thompson, chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, said: “As we return to the new normal and the busy festive period, it is important that licensees ensure their staff training is up-to-date, particularly in underage sales.

“Drinking alcohol brings serious risks to children, putting them in danger of physical and social harm – they are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else, fail to reach their potential at school and engage in anti-social behaviour.

“Prior to the pandemic great progress was made in reducing direct sales to under-18s via the Challenge 21 and 25 schemes.

“But our officers will be out and about over the coming weeks reminding licensees of their responsibilities, particularly in the build-up to the festive season, and ensuring they are still up to speed and legally compliant.”

The Trading Standards training covers how to prevent underage sales, what forms of ID are recommended and how to make a successful check, as well as vulnerability awareness for everyone working in the night-time economy.

Further details are available from Lancashire Trading Standards at lancashire.gov.uk.