Boston and Sleaford shops caught selling alcohol to children

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Two shops in Boston and Sleaford have been sanctioned after being caught selling alcohol to children.

Food Stop in Vauxhall Road, Boston and Bargain Booze in Southgate, Sleaford, have been criticised and had additional conditions placed on their Alcohol Premises Licences following police action.

Lincolnshire Police Alcohol Licensing Team submitted paperwork for Licence Review Hearings after the two stores failed a plain-clothes test purchase operation, selling alcohol to underage volunteers.

On Tuesday, April 19 a hearing was held in front of Boston Borough Council Licensing Sub-Committee in relation to Food Stop on Vauxhall Road, Boston. After hearing all the evidence they agreed with the police that the premises had been undermining the licensing objectives by selling alcohol to children. Concerns were also raised as to the overall running of the Premises.

The Committee removed the current Designated Premises Supervisor and added extra conditions in relation to CCTV management and staff training, aimed at preventing underage sales in the future.

On Wednesday, April 20, a hearing was held in front of North Kesteven District Council Licensing Sub-Committee in relation to Bargain Booze, Southgate, Sleaford.

After hearing all the evidence they also agreed with the police that the premises had been undermining the licensing objectives by selling alcohol to children. To address the concerns the Committee placed a number of new conditions on the Alcohol Premises Licence, including comprehensive staff re-training and ensuring a Personal Licence Holder must be at the store whenever alcohol is sold.

Sergeant Kim Enderby from the Alcohol Licensing Department said, “These stores were visited in separate operations by my department. Our underage volunteers were easily able to walk in off the street and purchase alcohol.

“The decision’s taken by both committees’ sends a clear deterrent message to all retailers - DO NOT SELL ALCOHOL TO CHILDREN. These additional conditions should ensure that sales of this type do not happen in these shops. We do everything we can to promote and encourage the lawful and responsible selling of alcohol.

“Those premises that fail or refuse to do this will have action taken against them. We had been receiving intelligence about these stores selling alcohol to children so arranged the Test Purchase Operation, similar Operations are being planned in the next few months.

“I would encourage members of the public, who know of stores behaving in this way to contact the Licensing Team, their local Police Team or report anonymously through Crimestoppers.”