East Grinstead shop has premises licence suspended for six weeks after selling alcohol to a child
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London Road Food and Wine, in East Grinstead, found itself in hot water after a bottle of WKD Blue was sold to a teenager in June.
The decision to suspend the shop’s licence was made during a meeting of Mid Sussex District Council’s liquor licensing panel on Wednesday (November 8).
A report to the committee said that West Sussex Trading Standards had received a number of complaints alleging the shop had been selling e-cigarettes to youngsters.
Early in June, officers visited licence holder Ibrahim Kahraman to discuss and advise about the sale of age-restricted products.
Despite that advice, a 16-year-old volunteer was able to buy the WKD – with the member of staff who sold it claiming she didn’t know that it contained alcohol.
With concerns being raised about the level of training received by staff, it was agreed that the store had not met the licensing objectives when it came to the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm.
As such, a number of conditions will have to be met once the suspension is served.
No more than two children or under-18s will be allowed into the shop at any time unless accompanied by an adult.
And a prompt will be added to the till to remind staff to check IDs and confirm that a customer is over 18 before selling alcohol or any other age-restricted product.
On top of that, a number of conditions were added by Sussex Police, including the need for suitable CCTV coverage, the keeping of an incident log to show all the times that the sale of alcohol was refused, and all spirits being kept behind the checkout, out of reach of the public.
A spokesman for West Sussex Public Health said: “Given the harm caused to children and young people by alcohol in West Sussex and the high rate of alcohol harm in young people in Mid Sussex district, it is especially disappointing to note that staff sold alcohol to a child.
“[We] are concerned by the inadequate staff training procedures at the premises.
“The apparent lack of training amongst some staff members is putting children at risk of harm from alcohol.
“The failure to keep adequate training records suggests further still that the premises is not taking seriously their responsibility to uphold the licensing objectives.”