Shropshire Star

Trading standards operation reveals Shropshire children easily booking in for Botox treatments

Trading standards teams have found a shocking number of cosmetic filler providers have been allowing children to book appointments.


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Over the last year, Shropshire Council's Trading Standards team undertook 59 test purchases across the county – 17 for alcohol, 36 for vapes and six for knives.

Of these, three retailers sold alcohol, eight retailers sold vapes, and one retailer sold a knife.

The investigations have resulted in two prosecutions, five written warnings, two pending prosecutions and two pending decisions. The knife sale has resulted in a community resolution issued by police.

An additional operation focussing on Botox and other cosmetic filler treatments found that young volunteers were able to book appointments at 16 of 18 premises - an 88 per cent non-compliance rate.

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s head of business and consumer protection, said she was worried about the findings.

She said: “Following the latest test purchasing operations undertaken during the course of 2023/24, I am particularly concerned about the ease with which our young volunteers were able to book Botox and other cosmetic filler appointments.

"Practitioners and businesses involved in the cosmetics industry do need to take the requirements of the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021 much more seriously and ensure arrangements to administer Botox or cosmetic fillers are not made with children.”

Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning and regulatory services, added: “No one can fail to have noticed the significant increase in the popularity of vapes with teenagers and even younger children, and as the long-term health risks are not yet clear, this is of serious concern to the council and our partners.

“The early intervention work undertaken by trading standards is invaluable in preventing young people, below the legal age of 18, from accessing vapes and other age-restricted products from businesses that are prepared to flout the law and put the health of the local community at risk for their financial gain.

“Trading standards will continue to employ the use of test purchasing exercises throughout the year ahead, targeting businesses where we have received intelligence that underage sales may be occurring.  Where retailers fail to comply with the legal requirements placed on them, necessary and appropriate enforcement action will be taken to ensure there is a level playing field for legitimate businesses who comply with the law; helping to develop Shropshire as a strong, safe and attractive place for people to live, work, visit and invest.”

Shropshire Council encourages individuals to contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 if they have any suspicions that retailers may be selling age-restricted products to minors.

Information can be given anonymously and will always be treated in line with the council’s information governance policies.