A shop in the centre of Brighton has had its licence to sell alcohol revoked.
B & W Stores, in York Place, Brighton, was banned from selling booze after systematically selling super-strength alcohol to street drinkers despite warnings from the police and council.
Brighton and Hove City Council said: “There was also evidence of sales to underage children at the off-licence.”
The London Road Local Action Team requested a review of the licence and representations were made by 24 different organisations, residents and businesses.
A council licensing panel heard evidence from Sussex Police, one of the local councillors, Brighton Housing Trust (BHT), which has offices near by, the council’s Trading Standards Department and a licensing officer.
The off-licence’s designated premises supervisor Wahid Ibrahim was asked why he had not taken action to stop the sale of alcohol to street drinkers.
Mr Ibrahim was questioned about how often he was present at the premises. The panel heard that he had other business interests, acting as a medical consultant and as the licence holder of premises in another town.
He volunteered to accept a condition on the premises licence restricting sales to alcoholic drinks with an ABV content of 6 per cent or less.
The panel felt that the measure was too little too late and was also concerned about the lack of training for staff.
The licensing panel chairman Councillor Lizzie Deane said: “We listened carefully to all the evidence and took into account the longstanding problems there have been at this premises.
“We heard evidence from the police and trading standards that alcohol was served in their presence to people already inebriated and also to underage children.
“We heard from the police that this area is a crime and disorder hot spot.
“We took into account the effects of selling alcohol on health and antisocial behaviour and we didn’t think that adding more conditions or removing the licence holder would be sufficient.
“Nor did we feel that suspending the licence would work because there has been plenty of opportunity to improve.”
B & W Stores has given a series of “yellow cards” by the police and council dating from 2009.
Sussex Police submitted details of 33 separate alcohol-related incidents in York Place between over four months to the start of August.
Councillor Deane said: “The panel felt the only course of action left to us was to revoke the licence in order to protect the public.”
She was joined on the panel by Councillor Dee Simson and Councillor Penny Gilbey.
Dr Tom Scanlon, the director of public health for Brighton and Hove, said: “We know that alcohol brings many economic benefits to the city but local residents will be all too aware of the problems that it brings as well.
“I am really pleased to see that the Licensing Panel took firm action with someone who was clearly endangering the health of adults and children by repeatedly selling alcohol to people who were already drunk or underaged.
“We want to work with businesses so that we have high standards of alcohol retailing in Brighton and Hove and I am happy to say that many are co-operating.
“But if licence holders are intent on breaching their conditions and endangering the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors then this action shows that the council will not sit by and watch.”
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.