BP Oil UK Limited has been fined £200 after admitting selling petrol to a
customer under the age of 16. The sale at a site in South Queensferry, Edinburgh, was made to a 14-year-old volunteer working on behalf of The City of Edinburgh Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards division. The fuel was bought in a can.
The oil company was fined after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
According to The City of Edinburgh Council, the test purchase exercise visited five petrol stations. And under-age volunteers were allowed to buy petrol at three of the sites.
A spokeswoman added: "The aims of the test purchase exercise are to prevent anti social behaviour in the community. If young people are able to access petrol, then they may be able to perpetuate anti-social behaviour using such things as mini motos. If they are prevented from accessing fuel, then they may find it harder to misuse these vehicles. This will reduce anti-social behaviour and improve the lives of those residents who are affected by it."
The exercise also tests whether petrol stations are obeying the law and providing the correct level of training to staff.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, the council’s environment leader, said: “I am very concerned that three out of five petrol stations sold fuel to young people regardless of age. This behaviour is totally unacceptable. Petrol is a hazardous substance and we must ensure that it is not being sold illegally to children. I hope this fine will serve as a stark warning that retailers must abide by the legislation.”
A BP spokesman added: "BP takes age restrictions on the sale of petrol extremely seriously, with a number of training procedures and programmes in place which we continually review."