Grimsby store in spotlight for under-age alcohol sales
A SHOP owner who was fined for stocking out-of-date food is now being closely monitored for selling alcohol to under-18s.
Bhupendra Patel, who runs Supersaver Express/Premier Extra, in Wellington Street, Grimsby, was warned he will be "under the spotlight" of police and council bosses at a licensing sub-committee yesterday.
The committee heard how alcohol was sold to under-18s on July 10 and September 14 last year, although the employee responsible for the sales has now been sacked.
Ken Stone, licensing officer for Humberside Police, said he believed the store was contributing to incidents of anti-social behaviour among youths.
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"Supersaver Express is not the sole cause of drink-related problems of anti-social behaviour caused by groups of youths in the area. However, the store's actions have contributed to it, which has had a detrimental affect on the quality of life of the residents in this area," he told the hearing.
He said a string of test purchases was carried out at the store.
Mr Patel admitted mistakes had been made but said a raft of measures had now been introduced to ensure sales of alcohol to children do not happen again, including installing CCTV, keeping a log of refused sales and displaying Challenge 25 posters.
Mr Patel told the sub-committee that 32 per cent of the store's sales are alcohol and that the business "wouldn't survive" if he lost his licence.
"I acknowledge that we failed two test purchases in two months and measures have been put in place to promote protection of children from harm and underage drinking," said Mr Patel in a statement presented to the committee.
"I have owned the shop for eight years and my record for test purchasing had been 100 per cent."
Mr Patel was handed a £1,200 court bill in January for selling cheese that was 33 days past its use-by date, as well as out-of-date pasta.
He now faces increased scrutiny from police and trading standards after the licensing sub-committee decided to impose a series of conditions on the store's licence.
The conditions include:
Training all staff on preventing under-age sales.
Seeking photographic proof from any customer appearing under 25.
Displaying Challenge 25 material in the store.
Keeping a log of refused sale.
Not advertising cheap alcohol outside the store.
Keeping CCTV footage for 30 days and monitoring it daily.
Chairman Councillor Ray Oxby, told Mr Patel the panel did not see it necessary to revoke the store's licence.
He added: "You are going to be under the spotlight for the next three to six months."
Read the original article about the shop online at www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk