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'Spy kids' sought to trap traders

Rows of botles of alcohol
Date 16 Aug 2007
Author The Editor
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Alcohol is among the products being sold to underage children

"Spy kids" are being sought to help crackdown on the illegal sale of age-restricted goods on North Tyneside. The council's Trading Standards department is looking for volunteers aged between 13 and 16, who must appear no older than their years. They would be accompanied by officers and closely monitored as they entered stores and attempt to buy alcohol, cigarettes, or fireworks.

No-one would be asked to work in areas where they might be recognised. The work could be of interest to teenagers considering a career in trading standards, law enforcement, journalism or drama. Those taking part would receive a certificate from the Elected Mayor, to be used in a record of achievement portfolio as evidence of service to the community.

Councillor Eddie Darke, cabinet member for community safety, said: "There are alarming trends suggesting that more and more young people are drinking and smoking under age. Like many other local authorities, North Tyneside enlists young volunteers to help them ensure traders comply with the legislation. Obviously this is something which parents or guardians and young people would need to be comfortable with and our trading standards officers are very happy to discuss all the issues and explain the safeguards which are put in place."

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