Teenage volunteers needed

Teenage volunteers are being sought as mystery shoppers to test the sale of restricted products around Northumberland.

The county council public protection service carries out regular test purchase operations throughout the county using youngsters to check businesses are not selling age-restricted products to underage people.

In a recent joint operation with Northumbria Police, alcohol was sold to a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old. In another operation three out of four shops sold ‘sniff kits’ which can be used for solvent abuse to a 14-year-old volunteer.

Jimmy Power, the council’s business and consumer protection manager, said: “We are always seeking young volunteers to help us with this crucial work.

“Without their assistance these age-restricted product test purchase operations would be unable to take place.

“These volunteers play a key role in helping to safeguard the health and wellbeing of local communities and their peers.”

Volunteers between the ages of 12 and 16 are needed.

Any parent or guardian who thinks that their teenager would be interested in helping can ring 01670 623706 or email tradingstandards@northumberland.gov.uk