TWO local shops have been caught selling age restricted products to under 18s and have been given Community Protection Warnings and face further investigation.

Teignbridge Council reports: ‘The shops were caught selling vapes to youngsters in a joint operation involving our Community Safety Team, the Police and Trading Standards; which involved spot checks on 15 shops in Teignmouth and Newton Abbot on Wednesday.

‘The checks were part of a national Trading Standards initiative to clamp down on illegal underage sales.

‘Volunteers under the age of 18 visited the shops to try and buy nicotine inhaling products or alcohol. Some of the shops targeted had been the subject of complaints from the public of alleged underage sales.

‘Watched by an officer pretending to be shopping, the volunteer attempted to buy underage products.

‘In two instances ages were not checked and the volunteer was sold a vape.

‘Once the purchaser leaves the premises the evidence is secured in a tamper proof bag which is then taken back into the store where the owner/sales staff is questioned under caution and issued with a community protection warning.

‘The joint exercise is aimed at supporting our communities and reducing the risks of young people getting restricted products.

‘With spot checks being repeated from time to time, it is hoped that all shop owners will tighten up their procedures and make sure the age of youngsters is checked before selling them restricted products.’

If you suspect a shop is selling age restricted products to someone below 18, contact Trading Standards or email [email protected]