An undercover teenager sent out by Cornwall Council to check whether she could buy age restricted products was sold 18 rated DVDs, lottery scratch cards, spray paint series and even a 15 inch knife.

The spot checks on shops in Truro found many prepared to sell age restricted products to an underage young person, with half of the shops tested failed and proceeded to sell her the product illegally.

Under the supervision of Cornwall Trading Standards officers, 15-year-old Imogen visited twelve shops across Truro. By the end of the day, Imogen’s haul included: two 18 rated DVD’s; one 18 rated video game; two lottery scratch cards; one can of spray paint and, most worryingly, a knife with a 15cm blade.

Elizabeth Kirk, senior trading standards officer said, “In order to buy the products we have test purchased, you need to be 18 years old with the exception of the scratch cards, where you need to be 16. While some of the shops were great, promptly asking Imogen for photo ID and then refusing her purchase, others were not so good, with one even admitting that they shouldn’t really be selling the product to her, which was very disappointing.”

All of the shops visited will now receive either a letter congratulating them on refusing the test purchase or a visit from a Trading Standards Officer advising them of their legal responsibilities.”

Cornwall’s Trading Standards regularly carry out test purchasing of age restricted products such as tobacco products and alcohol. Anyone with any information concerning shops or pubs serving persons under the legal age is urged to contact Trading Standards on 0300 1234 191.