Friday 21 April 2017

A shop in Sheffield had its alcohol licence revoked yesterday (Thursday 20 April) due to concerns about the sale of illicit tobacco products, and of alcohol to underage drinkers.

Concerns were raised about Alpha Food and Wine, 234 Abbeydale Road Sheffield, at a review hearing initiated by Sheffield Trading Standards with strong support from Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board and South Yorkshire Police.

The licensing panel heard about a series of criminal offences committed by a ‘revolving door’ of individuals involved with the premises. These offences had been investigated and prosecuted by the Trading Standards’ specialist illicit tobacco team.

The review also heard about further recent seizures of counterfeit and illicit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco, as well as a lack of adequate measures to prevent young people accessing alcohol and cigarettes.

Neither the current licence holder, Mr Zeravan Mohammed, who was appointed the day after the review papers were served, nor Mr Alan Quadir, the licence holder when the review process started, attended the hearing.

There is now a 21 day appeal period following the review decision. Alcohol can be sold during this period, but not after.

Councillor Tony Downing, cabinet assistant for the environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “We take unlawful sales of tobacco and alcohol very seriously and our Trading Standards team work hard to bring such actions to justice.

“This type of criminal activity is of huge detriment to our communities and poses serious health risks to those, especially the children, who these harmful illicit products are being sold to.

“I am pleased that the board have made the right decision to revoke this licence and hope that it serves as a warning to others. I would encourage anyone who has concerns about similar criminal activity to report it straight away.”

People can report concerns about the sale of illicit tobacco or underage sales, as well as report shops, pubs, clubs and private houses, allowing the sale of illicit tobacco to the National Trading Standards advice line on 03454 040506. Information can be given confidentially. Premises being used to sell stolen goods can be reported to the police on 101.