The number of local premises caught selling alcohol to minors remained the same over the past year, despite controlled purchase operations being stepped up threefold.
Police figures showed four premises in the Rotorua station's area were caught selling alcohol to minors in controlled purchase operations at on and off-licences in 2014, the same number as in 2013.
However, more than three times as many controlled purchase operations were performed last year, 54 compared to 17 in 2014.
Bay of Plenty Inspector Kevin Taylor said police continued to watch alcohol sales closely and were confident of the positive relationships they had with most alcohol outlets.
"We would like to believe that the partnership we have with the industry is fostering a more responsible and legal attitude to retailers' obligations under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act."
Controlled purchase operations were just one tool police used to monitor activity in the sale of alcohol. Mr Taylor said they would continue to use that tool as and when needed.
He said the sale and use or abuse of alcohol by minors was a concern in any area, and police always sought to work collaboratively with suppliers and consumers.
In the wider Bay of Plenty police district, 11 premises were caught selling alcohol to minors in operations at on and off-licences last year, compared to 27 in 2013. In 2013, 214 controlled purchase operations were carried out and in 2014 there were 244.
The Bay of Plenty police district covers the area from Katikati in the north, east to the tip of the East Cape, and south past Turangi in the central North Island.
There was one prosecution in relation to the sales to minors in Rotorua in 2014. Three people were dealt with by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority without going to court.
National co-ordinator, alcohol harm reduction, Senior Sergeant Andrew Smith said a case would go to court if someone did not have a licence or management certificate, because they could not be dealt with by the licensing authority.
Prosecution and licensing authority numbers could be higher than sales numbers, because more than one person may be involved in a sale.
What do you think?
Email email@example.com, write a letter to PO Box 1442, Rotorua or text OP (message) to 021 242 4568.