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Community Safety, Trading standards

Tough action against rogue Waterloo off-licence

An off-licence has been stripped of its permission to sell alcohol after it sold booze to under age customers and had staff working illegally in the premises.

Lambeth council’s trading standards team brought an application to review the licence held by Premier Food and Wine in The Cut, Waterloo, on Tuesday last week (May 8).

The council’s licensing committee heard that the shop had a history of under-age sales and staff illegally working in the premises.
The licencing probe was supported by the police who had an agreement with the shop that it could only sell cans of beer and cider in four and not to sell super-strength alcohol.

But during Lambeth council’s investigation, trading standards officers found that shop was selling single cans of super-strength lager and cider.

Two local residents’ associations supported the review telling officers that street drinking; drunks using the road as a public toilet, and anti-social behaviour were being compounded by the shop selling booze.

The situation was made worse by the fact that a hostel for recovering drug and alcohol abusers is above Premier Food and Wine.

Councillor Jack Hopkins, Lambeth council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “This shop was selling alcohol to under age kids which in anybody’s book is unacceptable.

“It is something we will not tolerate and continue to rigorously enforce. It was in effect, fanning the flames of problems of anti-social behaviour and crime, which residents continue to tell us their number one concern.

“We want the Waterloo to be a place which residents and tourists are proud to live in or visit particularly this summer with the Olympics and Golden Jubilee.

“Selling super strength beer by the can will only encourage street drinkers who make the lives of people who live and work in Waterloo a misery.

“It is in effect enabling a growing and troubling alcohol problem across London. We have taken tough action in this case, and will continue to do so in order to keep our streets, town centres, and neighbourhoods safe.

“We will continue to crack down on any venue that doesn’t play by the rules.”

On Tuesday, the committee revoked the shop’s alcohol licence. Once the decision is sent to its management in writing the off-licence has 21 days to sell its alcohol stock before it is not longer allowed to sell drinks.

The shop can still appeal the decision at Magistrates’ Court.

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