Sheffield shop to face licence review after selling booze to 15-year-old school children

A Sheffield shop faces losing its alcohol licence after underage youngsters were able to buy booze there three times in 12 months.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 24th January 2016, 11:01 pm
Premier shop at Ballifield Crescent which is having its licence reviewed after selling alcohol to under age children
Premier shop at Ballifield Crescent which is having its licence reviewed after selling alcohol to under age children

Singh’s Premier store on Ballifield Drive in Handsworth, sold booze to three 15-year-old police volunteers.

The alcohol included a four-pack of Stella Artois and a bottle of Jacques Cider.

A police report said since November 2014, the Handsworth shop had passed three test purchases and failed three.

Despite staff being sent on a special re-training course run by Sheffield Council and South Yorkshire Police in October 2015, the store failed another test purchase, this time selling a bottle of alcoholic ginger beer to a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Officers asked the staff member why they didn’t ask the teen for ID.

The employee replied: “I was going to ask her for ID, but I thought she was old enough.”

South Yorkshire Police Insp Jason Booth of South East Sheffield Local Policing Team raised issues about the shop in his report.

He said: “The issue of alcohol and its effect on behaviour is taken very seriously across my geographical area in South East Sheffield.

“As an area, we place great emphasis on the importance of carrying out regular test purchase operations.

“These are done with the aim of identifying premises who do not have stringent procedures in place, which in turn ensure they are only selling alcohol to over 18s responsibly.

“I have genuine concerns in regards to the management of the premise and I am aware that licensing staff have met previously to highlight this along with arranging additional training.

“The effects of alcohol on young people can lead to an increase of anti-social and criminal behaviour which negatively impacts on the local community.

“Therefore, I am keen to ensure that premises such as Premier stores are made aware of the impact of their failure to prevent sales to underage people, and that in future they take all reasonable steps available to ensure that this does not happen again.”

South Yorkshire Police has submitted a 65-page report to Sheffield Council’s licencing sub-committee.

The licence holder, Hardeep Singh Matto, of Fieldfare Court, Derby, will appear in front of the committee for the review at a meeting at Sheffield Town Hall today.