A 56-YEAR-OLD man and a 44-year-old woman have been asked for identification to prove their age at the village store they have both used for years.

Vic Anderson went buy cigarettes and a can of beer in the Mace shop in Bovington he has used for 20 years when he was told to prove his age despite being 56.

And Mary Wallace – who has lived in Bovington all her life, had to show her provisional driving licence to buy the pack of 20 menthol cigarettes she buys there every day.

Mr Anderson said: “I went over to get tobacco because it was my day off and I thought I’ll have a beer as well and I was surprised to be asked for identification.

“It’s not like I carry ID as I’m 56 and I know half the staff in the shop.

“I’ve lived in Bovington for 23 years and use the shop all the time as it’s one of the only amenities here.”

Mr Anderson said he pointed out members of staff that he knew and the manager was called over.

He said: “I had a queue of people behind me which was quite embarrassing.”

“The manager came over in the end and nodded to the member of staff that it was OK.”

Mary Wallace, 44, a care home worker, told how she was left angry at having to show her provisional driving licence.

She said: “I was disgusted going into my local Mace shop that I have used for years only to be asked for ID to buy cigarettes. It wouldn’t be so bad but I’m 44 years old.”

She said the shop worker was using a book to record the names and forms of identificaton used and she was told if they could not do that she would not be allowed her cigarettes.

“I’ve never seen or heard of anything so ridiculous.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and used that shop when it was a Naafi shop.”

A spokesperson for the shop said: “We have a ‘no ID, no sale’ policy in place at our Mace store in Bovington to prevent under 18s from buying alcohol and tobacco, and adults from purchasing it on their behalf.

“This may be viewed as excessive by individuals who are clearly of legal age but we are committed to creating a safe and pleasant community and feel this approach is the most responsible and effective way of achieving it.

“Feedback on the initiative from the majority of our customers and residents has been positive.”