trading standards. TRAP

  do-gull 22:22 16 Aug 2007

A friend of my wife's was caught by trading standards selling a 18 rated video game to a 16 year old.
Now the person that they SENT in to buy the said game looked close to if not older than 18, so was sold the game.
Why don't they send someone in who looks under-age then they would be certain of catching the unscrupulous traders who could not care less who they sell to, rather than nick someone who in my opinion has had at worst a lack of judgement.

The person buying the age restricted merchandise know they are breaking the law so why are they not targeted.


  Acx 22:57 16 Aug 2007

the worst thing you can do is convince yourself that the person you are serving is over 18. Most shops have or are introducing an under 21 policy - If they look under 21 ask for ID, this makes it a lot easier for the staff to ask for ID as 18 year olds don’t usually look 21.

As for trading standards, yes it’s hard enough without them deliberately trying to catch you out (but I also understand why they do it especially in regards to alcohol sales).

  Forum Editor 23:08 16 Aug 2007

someone who "has had at worst a lack of judgement" might not be an ideal person to be making such judgements in the first place.

It's a difficult call to make; most of us probably bought an alcoholic drink before we were 18 - I certainly did - and if the authorities prosecuted every pub manager for selling alcohol to under-age drinkers there wouldn't be anybody to run the pubs. Someone will inevitably be caught doing it however, and when they are no doubt they feel life has been unfair.

On this sort of thing Trading Standards are in a no-win situation. We would all roundly criticise them if they did nothing, yet we criticise them when they do something. On balance, whilst I can see why you're annoyed I think I would come down on the side of Trading Standards - they were doing what they're in business to do.

  Kev.Ifty 23:25 16 Aug 2007

A few years ago, my then Girl friend was on holiday in Florida.

I believe you have to be 21 to buy liquor and if you appear to be under 30 the shop keeper must ask for ID.

She was upset not to be asked for proof of age when buying a bottle of Jim Beam. She was 28 at the time.

  Simsy 23:39 16 Aug 2007

my experience in the USA is that all types of bars, whatever the location or type, ask for ID if there is the slightest doubt about age.

I was still being asked for ID in Michigan when I was nearly 30. (The age varies by state, though I think 21 may be universal now?).

At the crux of it is a willingness of the authorities to punish offending outlets by withdrawing of the licence, (license!) to sell booze, and the fear of it actually happening.



  Kate B 23:59 16 Aug 2007

I'd be delighted if I were asked for ID to buy booze. Or a game, for that matter.

  Acx 00:05 17 Aug 2007

The first time I asked a woman for ID (I was young and inexperienced then) a whole range of emotions went across her face, ranging from flattery to calling her boyfriend over to punch me (looking back she was obviously over 18).

  Bingalau 08:37 17 Aug 2007

As a pub manager I once refused to serve a young couple who only looked about 16 to me. They were laughing as they went out. Half an hour later they came back, the "young lad" brought his army ID card with him and the "young girl" brought her two daughters. Both were 22 year old parents. They both understood my perspective and of course the young lady was delighted to have been taken for a young girl.

  DrScott 09:10 17 Aug 2007

asked for ID on entering a bar. I'm 29, and it was all I could do to stifle my laughing. I actually felt a bit sorry for the bouncer - she seemed a little more than embarrassed.

  MichelleC 10:24 17 Aug 2007

I would have thought there would be much more important issues to use Trading Stds over-stretched resources on rather than using entrapment methods in this case.

  v1asco 10:39 17 Aug 2007

Looking close to 18 suggests to me that the buyer was perhaps under 18 so should have been asked for proof of age.

I acknowledge it is very difficult to judge ages, girls in particular.

The Trading Standards are doing their job, checking to see if retailers are doing theirs.

I used to be asked for ID up to about 25 as I had a very light beard growth.

In Cardiff there is an ID card scheme for proof of age, you take proof to the Police and they issue a picture ID card. My son, who also looks far younger than he is, has found it invaluable. It also avoids carrying more important documents around.

I have just converted my driving licence to a photo card as I can now prove my identity, a requirement entering Oil Refineries and some ports. Otherwise I have to carry a passport.

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