Children 'being sold over-18 products' in Havering, mum reports

Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch RM11 1JR - Havering Mind - Bark in the Park dog walk

Cllr Ciaran White, Havering's cabinet member for public protection - Credit: Melissa Page

Reports of age-restricted products being sold to children in Havering are being taken "extremely seriously".

That is the message from Havering Council after a mum alleged her 13-year-old daughter had been sold a nicotine-related product in the borough. 

The mother-of-two, 31, who wishes to remain unnamed, said she found evidence that youngsters had been able to buy the products on her daughter's phone. 

Cabinet member for public protection at the local authority, Cllr Ciaran White, said: “All allegations of traders selling age-restricted items to minors are treated extremely seriously by Havering Council and are investigated by our trading standards and enforcement officers.” 

The 31-year-old said she is "disgusted" that her efforts to encourage healthy living have been undermined by the improper selling.   

She said: “I like to support local businesses but I’m not prepared to deal with people selling my daughter stuff that isn’t suitable for her." 

Cllr White added: “We regularly conduct ‘challenge 25’ operations within the borough to ensure traders ask for proof-of-age ID from anyone who appears under the age of 25.  

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“We also conduct underage test purchasing of items such as alcohol, knives and vapes, using underage volunteers.  

“If a trader makes an illegal sale, we will act swiftly and take necessary steps to prosecute that trader.”