Councillors refuse police request to suspend Brighton shop’s drinks licence

The owners of a small shop in Brighton can keep their licence to sell alcohol, councillors have decided.

Sussex Police wanted Brighton and Hove City Council to suspend Kestrel Mini Market’s licence after cider was sold to a 16-year-old.

A council licensing panel reviewed the licence for the shop, in Swanborough Place, Whitehawk, at a hearing in March.

At the hearing Conservative councillor Dee Simson questioned the force’s stance because she felt that there was not enough evidence to justify suspending the licence.

Councillor Simson said that the owners, Nauman and Shazia Quisar, had “shown vigilance” and taken action to make sure that a breach of the rules did not happen again.

At the hearing, in March, Mr Quisar told the licensing panel that his mind had been on family concerns when he sold cider to a 16-year-old in March last year.

A second test purchase took place, without warning, but the under-age customer was not served.

The panel, made up of three councillors, said that suspending the licence would not be a “proportional response”.

The councillors said that the Quisars should operate a “Challenge 25” policy, to reduce the risk of serving under 18s, and keep better records and security camera recordings.

The panel’s decision letter said: “Apart from the admitted single failed test purchase, the panel was not satisfied that there had been any breaches by the premises licence holders of the licensing objectives.

“Neither were we satisfied that the licence holders had not promoted the licensing objectives.

“For example, they had installed CCTV despite not being required to do so.

“There was no evidence linking these particular premises to crime and disorder or public nuisance.

“We noted that the statutory guidance related to persistent sales of alcohol to children and there was no evidence of persistent sales. We accept the need to only take steps that are proportionate.”

  1. Terry Reply

    I support the actions of the Council in this instance. One error occurred but a subsequent ‘under-age test purchase’ was refused.

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