Action to ‘stamp out dangerous trade’ in Sheffield

Jack Scott with some of the fake booze seized from Sheffield traders
Jack Scott with some of the fake booze seized from Sheffield traders
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Hard-hitting action is under way to make Sheffield residents aware of the dangers of toxic counterfeit booze.

The moves comes after thousands of bottles were seized by trading standards officials.

Sheffield Council says it has confiscated 2,282 bottles of illegal alcohol in the last five months alone – more than 450 each month and a 58 per cent increase on the total seizures for 2012/13.

The council has taken on a dedicated enforcement officer to tackle the problem, which has led to stores being prosecuted and action taken against licensees.

Tomorrow, a council committee is reviewing the premises licence of one store caught selling fake vodka containing industrial chemicals and choloroform.

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment, said: “We are determined to crack down on the sale of these illegal goods.

“Be warned – we will find them and prosecute the offenders. We are tackling the illegal sale of alcohol head on.

“The public’s safety is at risk when consuming these products, particularly during binge drinking and even when being consumed responsibly on a regular basis.”

The council is ramping up action against rogue retailers – in 2012/13, there were 17 raids at 14 retailers in which 1,444 bottles of illegal booze were found. Three of the stores were hit twice.

There were 15 prosecutions the same year.

The council plans to make checks at larger numbers of shops this year.

A council spokeswoman said: “We will be working closely with retailers and consumers over the coming weeks and months to educate people about what to look for and what the dangers are of consuming these products.

“We want to help the people of Sheffield to stamp out this dangerous trade.”

The council said it is conducting raids on premises suspected of selling illicit booze with the help of police and HM Revenue and Customs.