OFF licences selling alcohol to children have been given a warning by Thurrock councillors, who have suspended two licences after a sting operation.

Civic Square Stores, in Tilbury, and Select and Save, in Boyce Road, Stanford-le-Hope, have had strict conditions imposed on them after they were caught selling alcohol to underage children.

Earlier this year, Thurrock Council and Essex Police targeted the two areas of the borough, and the council’s licensing sub-committee met recently to discuss the results.

The council’s Trading Standards team worked with under-age volunteers.

On February 8, nine shops were checked in Tilbury and on April 5, ten in the Corringham and Stanford area were targeted. Just the two served the girls.

The sub-committee was told that after follow-up operations in June, both stores properly refused to sell alcohol. Conditions have now been imposed on the stores and the sub-committee also suspended their licences for two weeks.

Speaking after the meeting, chairman of the sub-committee, Cllr Mike Stone, said: “While these two cases were disappointing, it was pleasing to see that the vast majority of stores visited abide by the law.

“The council will continue working with the police to carry out these checks and take appropriate action.”