Sheffield shop stripped of licence for selling alcohol to minors

A Sheffield shop that sold alcohol to minors has been stripped of its licence.

Thursday, 16th February 2017, 4:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 7:40 am
Shop Local. Photo: Google

Councillors took action against Shop Local in Abbeydale Road after police accused owner Sarfraz Bhatti of repeatedly selling booze to underage customers.

South Yorkshire Police licensing enforcement officer Cheryl Topham said the shop had failed six of 13 text purchase inspections.

Officer Topham also highlighted repeated complaints by members of the public.

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In her report to the council's licensing committee, she said the shop had been a 'cause for concern' for five years.

"The test purchase operations are conducted to provide a positive response and action following complaints from the public or observations by police staff that many instances of anti-social behaviour involve young people under the age of 18 years, who have acquired alcohol and/or under the influence of alcohol.

"The issue of child safety is raised, in that alcohol acquired by young people illegally can be passed to even younger children and over indulged by all, thereby causing serious concern for health and safety.

"This is evidenced in the report and also in a statement given by a young person who was hospitalised after drinking a large quantity of alcohol purchased at the premises."

Officer Topham said there had also been faults with the shop's CCTV.

She listed 26 examples of test purchases - some of which were failed - or complaints from the public between July 2012 and December 2016.

Some of the reported sales were to teenagers as young as 13.

The Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board also called for the licence to be revoked. In a letter to councillors, licensing project manager Julie Hague said the board had tried to work with Mr Bhatti but he had shown a 'persistent disregard' of his responsibilities.

A letter signed by 'Sharrow, Nether Edge, Abbeydale Road and London Road community and customers' was submitted in support of the shopkeeper.

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