Not all trading standards officers get out of bed wondering which retailer they can torment today. Keith Caine rang from Mardy Post Office in Abergavenny, South Wales, to update me on what had happened since his first call last October when "a member of staff sold cigarettes to a plant".

At the time, he said: "My world fell apart. I saw the CCTV and he only looked 12-14." Keith did what he had to do. "We sacked the sales assistant on the spot. But I didn't want to fire her, not in the run up to Christmas."

I hasten to add that this wasn't a member of staff worth keeping. "She lied and said I had given her no training." (Keith not only does give training but has posters on display and a prompt on the till.)

I gave him what advice I could he had to put his hand up even though it was a member of staff (whom he had now fired) and I suggested he make a set of bullet points to remind himself, and the TSOs at the interview, of all the steps he had taken to prevent such an event happening. Plus he should up his ante, possibly to as high as Challenge 25 and tell them so.

He was told by the TSO that there are four levels of discipline. Level one is 'no action'. Next is the 'stern letter' stage; third, you wind up with a TSO 'record' and finally, there is prosecution.

"We believed we would get level three," says Keith, "but in the end we got nothing at all."

Even so, he adds: "I've upped my game now."

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