Children were able to use gambling machines in pubs without being challenged for their age.

Police Cadets carried out the operation alongside Barnet Police to see who is flouting the rules and who is enforcing them, on October 24 and 25.

Only two businesses, The Kings Head in High Street, Barnet, and The Joiners Arms in Ballards Lane, Finchley, asked the cadets for their ages.

Sergeant Jane Tuffin who led the operation along with the Gambling Commission, said: “Barnet Police are committed to safeguarding young people from addiction and gambling.

“Ensuring that children cannot gain access to gaming machines in the borough is just one step to reducing that risk to young people.”

A Gambling Commission spokesperson said: “We were very pleased to be working in partnership with Barnet Police and Barnet Borough Council to tackle underage gambling.

“We were, however, disappointed with the results and would like to remind all pubs that it is their responsibility to ensure the underage are not using gambling machines on their premises.”

Licence holders across Barnet have been invited to attend The Borough Pub Watch meeting in January to receive guidance from the Gambling Commission and Police on the subject.