Utrecht council uses young teenagers to catch out bar owners

Cafe and bar owners in Utrecht are furious at the use of ‘heavily made-up’ young teenagers to find out if they are breaking the ban on serving the under-18s alcoholic drinks.

Local politician Henk Westbroek was fined €1,300 at the weekend after selling a glass of wine to a 17-year-old girl. The girl and several other teenagers – who are trainee security guards and wardens – were sent out by council officials to test adherence to the new laws.

In total, six bars and five shops were checked, resulting in four fines. It has been an offence to serve or sell alcohol to the under-18s since the beginning of this year.

The Dutch hospitality industry association Horeca Nederland is looking into the legality of using decoy teenagers. The council has denied the teenagers were heavily made up.

MPs for the right-wing VVD are also concerned at the use of ‘young mystery guests’, according to RTL news. They say the council could be guilty of entrapment.

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