EPoS age-restricted sales till prompts conflict with staff training and put stores at risk of breaking the law.

That was the warning from Victoria Gale, Underage Sales retail advisor and former trading standards officer, who said: "Retailers are relying on EPoS systems more and more and a lot of till systems say “is this person 18?""

"This can conflict with the rest of their training. Staff shouldn’t be trying to guess whether someone is 17 or 18, it’s an impossible task and retailers are likely to trip over it. If it said at the till: “Does this person appear 21 or 25,” it would be much easier for staff.”

Retail Express researched and contacted different EPoS providers to find out their policies. Retail Data Partnership said that due to Retail Express’ enquiry it is now “in the process of modifying our age check process to include Challenge 25 literature when an age-restricted product goes through the till". It said this would go live by 19 March.

Reposs and PayPoint One enables retailers to set their own customised warning screens. Image Soft said its system “meets and exceeds all legal requirements regarding age checking".