Northampton convenience store has licence suspended
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A Northampton convenience store has had its licence suspended after it was caught selling illegal cigarettes as well as alcohol outside of licensing hours.
The Monopol Convenience Store in Barrack Road was visited by a plain-clothes police officer in October 2020 whereby they were able to buy 20 non-UK duty paid cigarettes for £5. Two further test purchases were made in November and December with the same outcome.
A fourth test purchase late one evening in December saw the same officer able to buy cigarettes again, as well as alcohol. At the time the alcohol was purchased, the shop should not have been selling it.
At the time of the purchase, the sales assistant even made a comment that he shouldn’t be selling the alcohol at the time.
Later that month, police officers and staff from HMRC entered the premises and seized the non-duty paid cigarettes that were in the store. The store was also found to be employing illegal workers.
In a licensing hearing at the beginning of 2021, a decision to suspend the premise’s licence for three months was made, to allow them to put in place measures that will ensure they abide by the conditions of their licence in the future.
Licensing Sergeant Simon Moreton, said: “Licences are put in place for a reason and when the conditions of a licence are breached, it’s important for us to act as there will be a lot of underlying issues that need to be addressed.
“Perhaps the most important aspect of this work is the safeguarding of vulnerable people. Illegal workers are often treated poorly – they have no rights, no access to basic things like sick pay, and do not have anyone to turn if they are unhappy.
“By exposing these issues within a business allows us to tackle them head on to ensure they don’t continue. We will continue to do this alongside our partners at Trading Standards and HMRC.”