Officials object to prospect of online drinks delivery 24 hours a day

Police and council officials have lodged objections to a licence application by the online grocery delivery service Getir.

It wants to be licensed to deliver alcoholic drinks 24 hours a day from its new Hove distribution centre.

The app-based food and drink delivery service has applied for a round-the-clock licence seven days a week for its depot in St Joseph’s Business Park, in St Joseph’s Mews, Hove.

Getir is the latest company to launch as a “super-fast” grocery service, promising to deliver goods within 10 minutes.

The company was started in London earlier this year and is expanding rapidly across the country.

In April, Weezy, which offers a similar service, was granted a licence to sell alcohol from 7am to 11pm from its site in Newtown Road, Hove.

But its application to deliver alcoholic drinks from its centre in Lower Goods Yard, in Trafalgar Street, Brighton, was refused.

Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council licensing officials have opposed Getir’s application, citing council policy which restricts alcohol off-sales until 11pm in outer areas of the city.

The police and council are concerned that drink will be sold to people in parts of Brighton and Hove where tougher licensing rules apply to try to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

A council licensing official, whose details were redacted, said that the company had not put forward any exceptional circumstances to justify an exemption from council policy.

The anonymous official said: “There are concerns that increased levels of alcohol would be delivered … as well as concerns over the personal safety of drivers when having to refuse a delivery at the end destination.

“These possible issues would only be heightened by allowing delivery of alcohol throughout the night.”

Sussex Police shared crime data to show the level of alcohol-related crime and disorder in the centre of Brighton.

In 2020, there were 2,053 alcohol-related crimes, including during the coronavirus pandemic, compared with 2,313 in 2019 when no government restrictions were in place.

The force was also concerned about the increasing number of delivery vehicles on the roads.

A force licencing officer, whose details were also redacted, said: “Sussex Police have two current operations called Op Mainstay and Op Crackdown which focus on anti-social driving, reducing the numbers of road collisions resulting in killed or seriously injured persons.

“Our concerns are that this business operation will add more vehicles / mopeds / scooters on to the roads and possibly increase the number of people killed or seriously injured, as well as vehicle document related offences (insurance, MoT, driving licence).”

Sussex Police was also concerned about alcohol reaching under-18s.

Getir’s UK head of legal Anna Cosgrave said that the company’s software did not allow customers to place an order for anywhere other than a postal address, in light of concerns about deliveries to open spaces such as parks and beaches.

She said: “We take our approach to alcohol licensing very seriously and have engaged a dedicated alcohol licence consultant who helps us to ensure that we adhere to all of our obligations in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003.”

The application is due to be decided by a council licensing panel made up of three councillors starting at 10am on Thursday (5 August).

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