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UK Traders caught selling violent games to children
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Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:47 am Reply and quote this post
Thirty-eight online traders and three high street shops havebeen caught selling 18-rated video games to children in a series ofundercover investigations. Such sales are illegal and businessescan be punished by prison sentences and fines.

Anundercover investigation by consumer magazine Which?Computing caught branches of Woolworths, Game and Maplin inHarrow, Middlesex selling the games Grand Theft Auto ViceCity Stories, Condemned 2 and Hitman to theteenager. The Maplin store assistant asked the girl's age but didnot refuse the sale when she said she was 15.
Such sales can be prosecuted under the Video Recordings Act of1984 and punished with a fine of up to 5,000 and/or six months inprison.
Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Services, which worked withWhich? Computing on the research, will not prosecute butwill contact and monitor the stores, according to a statement. Allthree stores are investigating the findings and said that underagesales are rare.
Harrow branches of Tesco, Argos, Debenhams, HMV and CurrysDigital all refused the teenager. A local shop, EntertainmentExchange, also turned her away.
In a separate investigation, Trading Standards bodies at sixlocal authorities in Wales found nearly 90% of online traderssupplying violent games to youngsters. Each authority enlisted avolunteer aged between 12 and 16 who attempted to buy 18-ratedvideo games on the internet using postal orders.
Of the 44 test purchases attempted, 38 traders sold the games tothe children assisting the authorities.
Lee Jones, acting head of Trading Standards, Bridgend CountyBorough Council, said the survey shows how easily children can gainaccess to age-restricted, violent video games.
"Traders who use auction sites and accept postal orders aspayment have no method of determining whether the person they areselling to is aged 18 or over," he said.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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