Dave Ellerington, of Newcastle Council's trading standards and team leader for NETSA
safety and crime group, said in the report: "A significant number of cigarette machines were installed without any real consideration that they could be accessed by under-age persons.
Jeff Bell, the council's chief trading standards officer, led the bid on behalf of NETSA
(North East Trading Standards Association) resulting in a pounds 404,000 award to take part in a two-year DTI-funded initiative to target conmen, counterfeiters and illegal firms.
Kevin Floyd, NETSA
project officer for the 12 trading standards authorities in the North-east, said: "If we can encourage the public to report illegal sales of alcohol, tobacco, fireworks, solvents and spray paints to young people, we can help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.