Colchester mum says shop sold her 13-year-old…


A CONCERNED mum has said shop owners are “only interested in making money” after her teenage son was sold products strictly for over 18s.

Charlotte Louise, 35, from Colchester, says her 13-year-old son managed to purchase six vapes from a store in the city centre using his birthday money.

The schoolboy was reportedly not asked to prove his age and his friends also managed to leave the shop having purchased the electronic smoking devices.

His mum has now slammed the shop responsible for neglecting the welfare of its underage customers by selling them items they are legally too young to buy.

She said: “I was shocked because he is only a young boy, so I removed them from him and told him about the dangers or vapes and smoking.

“I cannot control what happens when my son is out with his friends and I was disappointed, but he is honest with me and we have a close relationship.

“My son does look older than his age but they should be asking for ID – I think it is awful and terribly really that they are obviously only interested in making money.”

  • READ MORE: ‘Profit over welfare’ – Shops caught selling alcohol and knives to underage customers

Charlotte has decided to speak out after six Colchester shops were caught in the act selling either alcohol, vapes or knives to customers under the age of 18.

The culprits were found out after Essex Trading Standards conducted a joint operation with Essex Police which saw them using underage test purchasers.

“I’d say there needs to be more undercover shoppers and more fines for the shops that do it,” added Charlotte.

Bosses at Essex Trading Standards have now vowed to investigate the findings of their joint investigating and hand out punishments to the shops in question.

A spokesman for the authority said: “Appropriate follow-up action will be taken against the premises concerned.”

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