Scottish Beer and Pub Association to delay test purchasing of alcohol

23 May 2007 by
Scottish Beer and Pub Association to delay test purchasing of alcohol

The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has called for a delay in the national roll-out of the test purchasing of alcohol by underage drinkers in Scotland after it uncovered loopholes in the scheme during a trial in Fife.

The call for suspension comes after Fife Police admitted to the SBPA that the test purchasing pilot scheme did not conduct any test purchases on any licensed premises in the area, only testing the off-sales trade.

Fife Police only revealed the limits of the test purchase pilot after the SBPA submitted a Freedom of Information request back in July 2006.

Patrick Browne, chief executive at the SBPA, said the admission raised "major questions" over the protocols developed ahead of the roll-out of test purchasing across Scotland.

"It is now evident that during the initial phase of the test purchasing pilot scheme when Fife Police were criticising licensees for the failure rate in test purchases in Fife, that at this stage no pubs or clubs had actually failed, indeed they hadn't even been tested."

Browne added that while the SBPA had supported the introduction of test-purchasing of alcohol being introduced in Scotland for the first time but it was important that licences had confidence in the scheme.

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By Christopher Walton

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