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Watchdogs shocked at 18-rated DVD and games sales to children
9:47am Friday 24th August 2012 in News
WATCHDOGS have reacted with dismay after half the local retailers tested sold 18-rated DVDs and video games to under age buyers.
Test purchasers aged 14 and 15 volunteered to check for St Helens Council’s trading standards whether shops were abiding by new age classification laws.
But five of the ten premises visited sold 18-rated DVD films to the young buyers without asking for proof of ID.
A further three out of six tested were happy to sell them 18-rated games.
Reacting to the findings, Councillor Gareth Cross said: “The age classifications are there for a reason.
“Many of the 18 classified games and videos often depict gruesome scenes of violence and are certainly not suitable for youngsters.”
A recent change in the law makes it an offence to sell Pan European Games Information (PEGI) classified video games to people below the age displayed on case.
This now brings all games with age ratings of 12 and above under the same law as video and DVD films.
Councillor Richard McCauley, cabinet member for environmental protection and safer communities, said: “I find it very worrying that 14 year olds could easily purchase these items in half of the shops tested.
“On this occasion our officers will be advising and supporting local retailers to be more vigilant.
“However, the retailers have been told that further tests will happen and any failures will be subjected to a full investigation with a view to prosecuting those responsible.”
St Helens Council has not released the names of the offending stores.
Residents aware of premises they believe are selling age-restricted products to children can report it to Trading Standards on 08454 040506.
If any traders require advice about how to comply with the law on age-restricted products they should contact Trading Standards for advice on 01744 676353.