A Shrewsbury MP has accused his local Trading Standards officials of deliberately entrapping retailers by carrying out underage test purchases for sales of alcohol and tobacco.

Daniel Kawczynski said he had been contacted by local retailers who claimed that they were being unfairly targeted.

"I am extremely concerned about the Trading Standards department which is going around Shrewsbury sending relatively young people into stores to buy cigarettes and alcohol," he said. "The police aren't allowed to entrap, yet Trading Standards seems to have the power."

Kawczynski added that he supported tight laws regarding underage sales, but was concerned about the methods used. "Trading Standards should be providing more advice and support for retailers in dealing with underage sales. It's important that we protect the rights of the shopkeeper."

Shropshire Council said it was the responsibility of retailers to obey the law and ensure that staff are properly trained.

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