Spalding shop has licence revoked after illegal alcohol sales

Posted on 11 January 2019

CllrCassonA Spalding shop found to be selling illegal alcohol has had its premises licence revoked by South Holland District Council.

Spalding Express, on Commercial Road, was in front of the Panel of the Licensing Committee after five visits throughout 2018 by Lincolnshire Police, trading standards and South Holland District Council Licensing Officers uncovered numerous breaches, including the sale of illegal foreign alcohol, selling below the mandatory price and at an ABV percentage beyond the maximum permitted within their licence.

On 25 September, Trading Standards found smuggled bottles of vodka for sale at the premises which had no UK Duty Stamps. They were unable to provide any receipts or invoices to show legitimate purchase and did not have their premises license on display in the shop.

This was followed by a visit in October by Lincolnshire Police and South Holland District Council, where beer was found for sale individually priced and of 9% ABV, stronger than the 6.5% allowed in their licence conditions. Staff and the premises holder were unable to operate the CCTV camera in the shop and could not present training records or evidence of having a policy regarding underage sales. There was also no logbook for refusal of sales or other incidents present. The licence conditions required the premises to take all of these steps in order to uphold the licensing objectives to ensure the safety of the public, prevent crime and disorder and protect children from harm.

Many of the same concerns were still in place during visits in November and December by Lincolnshire Police and South Holland District Council respectively. Licensing officers found cans of 7% cider and a premises search by Police also discovered suspicious behaviour, including a logbook recording the brands of several illegal cigarettes with figures alongside them.

Licence holder Mr Mohamed was present at the hearing on Thursday 10 January, where the SHDC panel ruled that the premises licence should be revoked, subject to appeal, following repeated breaches of the conditions of the licence and a lack of confidence in the Premises Licence Holder, as well as the presence of smuggled alcohol in the premises.

Cllr Anthony Casson, portfolio holder for public protection supported the panel's decision, saying: "The council's public protection team, working alongside Lincolnshire Police and Trading Standard officers, work hard every day to ensure that the people of South Holland are kept safe from harm".

"I am pleased that the strongest action available to us has been taken to revoke the alcohol licence of this premises, who have a sustained a clear history of not adhering to the licensing laws or ensuring the protection or wellbeing of their customers".

"As always I also hope this decision will send out a clear message to other business owners in the district that we take behaviour like this extremely seriously and will take action against any premises seen to be in breach of the licensing objectives."

The ban on alcohol sales at the premises will come into effect after 21 days, depending on whether an appeal is lodged with the Magistrates Court. For more information on Licensing laws and regulations, visit www.sholland.gov.uk/Licensing.