Clamp on under-age buyers

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HALF of the local retailers tested as part of a recent trading standards sting sold 18-rated DVDs and computer games to underage buyers.

Five out of 10 shops sold DVDs to test purchasers aged 14 and 15 without asking for proof of ID and three out of six were happy to sell them 18-rated video games.

A recent law change makes it an offence to sell Pan European Games Information (PEGI) classified computer games to people below the age displayed on case.

This now brings all computer games with age ratings of 12 and above under the same law as video and DVD films.

Coun Richard McCauley, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for environmental protection and safer communities, said: “I find it very worrying that 14 year olds could easily purchase these items in half of the shops tested.

“On this occasion our officers will be advising and supporting local retailers to be more vigilant. However, the retailers have been told that further tests will happen and any failures will be subjected to a full investigation with a view to prosecuting those responsible.”

Anyone aware of shops selling age-restricted products to children can report it to Trading Standards on 08454 040506.

Any traders requiring advice about how to comply with the law on age-restricted products can call 01744 676353.