A business in Thornton Heath has been fined for selling a vape to a person under the age of 18, as Croydon Council’s trading standards service cracks down on illegal sales to minors.
The council’s trading standards service has been helping to keep Croydon’s young people safe by carrying out enforcement action on the illegal sales of goods to those underage – including knives, alcohol and vapes.
As part of this activity, the team worked with a volunteer teenager to carry out a test purchase of a Bloody Mary ‘Mr Blue’ vape at P&N Convenience Store in Bensham Lane, Thornton Heath.
The council’s underage volunteer gave her correct age of 15 on request from the seller twice, however the transaction proceeded.
At a hearing at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Monday 21 August, A&AK Patel Ltd – the trading name of the store – admitted carrying out the sale of a vape to a minor.
The court heard that, despite a warning notice on display in the shop window saying vapes would only be sold to people aged 18 and over, the sale was made. Enforcement officers also found that no written records had been kept confirming employees had been trained about underage sales, and there was no till prompt system in place to help remind staff.
A&AK Patel Ltd was ordered to pay a £920 fine, £910.80 in costs and a £372 victim surcharge, totaling £2,202.
“Making the borough safer for our young people is a top priority for me and I am determined to protect young people from the illegal sales of vapes, alcohol and knives.
“Our trading standards service work closely with local businesses to ensure they are up to date with the latest legislation but, where sellers flout the law, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action to help keep Croydon’s residents safe.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon