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Volunteers wanted for age-related products

Help us to find the traders who are prepared to sell age-related products to young persons. Our volunteers will assist Trading Standards officers in covert surveillance and evidence gathering.

What products are we talking about?

Trading Standards enforce the law in relation to age restricted products. The sales of the following products and their associated age-restrictions are some of the areas covered:

  • Alcohol - 18 years of age;
  • Fireworks - 18 years of age; 
  • Cigarette lighter refills - 18 years of age; 
  • Tobacco products - 18 years of age;
  • Knives & Blades - 18 years of age;
  • Solvents (Glue, lighter fuel, etc.) - 18 years of age
  • Aerosol spray paints - 16 years of age.

Who can volunteer?

Volunteers must be aged between 12 and 15 and should not look older than the age restriction in question. We are unable to offer payment but all expenses will be met and refreshments provided.

I'm interested. What do I do now?

If you are interested in volunteering to take part in such an exercise and would like more details, get your parents or guardians to write in, enclosing a picture of yourself plus a note of your age and height and we will arrange a meeting.

As a parent or guardian what will I have to do?

Parents/guardians of any volunteers will be asked to sign a parental consent form. You can stipulate when and where the volunteer can assist and any special dietary requirements. You will also be asked to provide a copy of their birth certificate.

If we get any sales we would require you give a witness statement identifying your child from a photograph taken by us and producing the copy of the birth certificate. This should prevent you being called to give evidence at court but if the defendant objects you may be required to attend court.

What will happen to the volunteers?

Anyone who volunteers will be photographed on the day of any operation. They will be shown how to operate covert surveillance equipment. They can either work alone or with a friend and will be accompanied by officers from trading standards at all times, either in the shop or outside. The outside officer will be equipped with a sound and video feed monitoring the volunteer(s).

Will the volunteer have to attend court?

Our evidence of the sale is the video from the covert camera, the photographic evidence of how they looked on the day and your evidence as to their age. We will strongly resist any attempt by the defence to bring the volunteer to court. To date, none of our young volunteers have had to appear in court.

Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Oct 2015 at 13:51