Shropshire Pub Forced To Close For Three Weeks
The closure order is being imposed by Shropshire Council's Licensing Committee on the Seven Bar and Restaurant in Broadway, Shifnal from the end of this month.
It follows an application from West Mercia Police, supported by Shropshire Trading Standards officers, for a review of the premise's licence.
The Licensing Committee heard that alcohol sales were made to 16 and 17-year-old volunteers during a Trading Standards operation over an eight-month period from December 2011 to July this year.
A previous application to review the licence had been withdrawn by the authorities after the Seven Bar operators made satisfactory changes.
In addition to the suspension, further conditions have been added to the premise licence, including the need to recruit door staff, employ external companies to test its Challenge 25 policy and not to admit anyone under the age of 18.
Tony Mantle, the Police Licensing Officer for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, warned that the sale of alcohol to people under 18 was deemed by the government to be "very serious".
He said: "Additional legislation introduced in April this year doubled the financial penalties for persistent sale of alcohol to children from £10,000 to £20,000. Police Superintendents were also given the power to close premises for up to two weeks. Previously it was for 48 hours."
Mr Mantle said Shropshire Trading Standards and West Mercia Police were working together on Operation Knight, an initiative testing the willingness of pub staff to sell alcohol to under 18s.
Two pubs and one off-licence had recently been tested in the Bridgnorth area, and all three had failed.
He said: "Operation Knight is continually being run across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, checking out pubs, clubs, restaurants, supermarkets and off-licences. Complacency is no excuse. Licensees and bar staff have a responsibility to make stringent use of proof of age checks using recognised means."
Shropshire Council's lead Enforcement Officer, Mr Grant Tunnadine added: "Once again, standards are slipping. We will continue with Operation Knight for the foreseeable future as part of the Council's and government's alcohol strategy."