A BAR worker has been fined for serving an underage teenager during a police and council sting.

Police joined forces with licensing officers at Bolton Council to carry out test purchases at bars and clubs in the town centre.

The operation involved underage volunteers attempting to buy alcohol.

A staff member at Dragonfly, in Nelson Square, failed to ask an underage teenager for identification and sold alcohol to the youngster.

The employee was issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice.

PC Andy Vernon, from Bolton's partnership team, said: “This was very disappointing. We encourage all venues in the town centre to use the challenge 25 scheme, which basically means that anyone that may appear under 25 should be asked for ID and refused service if they can't provide any.

“The test purchase took place on a Friday evening when I would expect staff at premises to be extra vigilant.

"As a result of the offence committed at Dragonfly, the member of staff concerned received a fixed penalty fine of £90.”

The bar’s manager, Gary Smith, said: “I am very disappointed to have failed and the issue of under-age drinking is one we take very seriously.

“I would like to think that it was a one-off — an error of judgement from a very competent member of staff.

“Since we failed the test purchase we have done refresher training with all the staff about the issue.

“We had a meeting immediately after it, and I have also put forward two more members of staff to take a personal licensing course.

“I would like to think we are a safe and well-run pub with a great reputation which will hopefully not be affected by this negative publicity.”

Cllr Nick Peel, cabinet member for environment, housing and regulation, said council officers and police carry out test purchases for a variety of things including DVDs, games, cigarettes, fireworks and alcohol.

Cllr Peel said: “We do a lot of these test purchases which help to send the message out to businesses that we do monitor purchases. The vast number of people are compliant and we will watch those people who are not.”

The test purchases earlier this month follow on from a clampdown on stores selling alcohol and fireworks to children last year as part of Operation Treacle.

Two stores sold alcohol without asking for identification.