Littlehampton shop’s licence could be revoked after it sold cider to a 16-year-old

Tuesday, 1 March 2022 09:12

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

Sussex News, Littlehampton, Google Streetview

West Sussex Trading Standards is asking for a review of a Littlehampton shop’s alcohol licence after it sold cider to a 16-year-old.

Arun District Council will consider a review of the alcohol licence for Sussex News, 15B Surrey Street, at a meeting next month (March 7).

West Sussex Trading Standards Services visited the convenience store and spoke to staff in November after receiving reports that e-liquids were being sold to minors.

But, just two days later, a staff member at the shop sold two bottles of cider to a 16-year-old volunteer during a test purchase carried out by Trading Standards.

Inspector David Derrick of Sussex Police called this ‘particularly worrying’ considering Trading Standards had visited just a few days before.
“Trading Standards received intelligence last November that this premises was being targeted by the street drinking community, who were supplying age restricted products to under 18s from this shop via proxy purchasing,” said Mr Derrick.

“A Trading Standards visit was conducted to the premises on November 23 2021 to the shop, when it became apparent that there were no under age sales preventative measures and no age verification information was displayed.”

The force said the shop had failed to meet ‘very basic nuts and bolts conditions’ of its licence such as having potentially broken or inaccessible CCTV for a time.

Several visits in January and one earlier this month found ‘numerous breaches of the licence’.

Trading Standards said the review was necessary as the shop had ‘undermined’ the council’s licensing objectives to prevent crime and disorder and protect children from harm.

In a statement the owner of Sussex News,  Khawar Shahzad, said he was ‘extremely sorry’ following the events.
“When someone starts work in my business, the first word of training is ‘no ID, no sale’,” Mr Shahzad said, “but some people don’t follow [this].”
“We are extremely sorry.”

Mr Shahzad said the member of staff who had sold two bottles of cider to the 16-year-old was new and ‘did not check ID’.

He said the staff member had since been retrained but Sussex Police said no staff training records were provided when it asked for them. The force said: “Trading Standards state it is both proportionate and necessary to revoke the licence. Sussex police fully support the stance taken by Trading Standards in this case.”

West Sussex County Council’s public health directorate also supported a revocation of the licence.

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