Seaham store could lose licence after allegedly selling booze to child

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A SUNDERLAND businesswoman could lose her alcohol licence after staff at her shop were accused of selling booze to under-age drinkers.

Workers at One Store, in Fox Street, Dawdon, Seaham, are alleged to have been caught making the unlawful sales during test-purchase operations in recent years.

Despite the premises being leased to a new manager this year, officers, along with local residents, claim there is still a problem.

Now boss Harpreet Kaur, of Ashbrooke, Sunderland, is expected to appear at a council committee after Durham Police requested a review of her premises licence.

The move could end in a suspension of her licence, pending the installation of approved CCTV cameras, completion of a staff training programme and commitments that the personal licence holder will be present at the store on Fridays and weekends.

Further action could be taken at a later date to revoke the licence completely.

In a report to the licensing sub-committee, Terry Collins, corporate director of neighbourhood services at Durham Council, said: “The request for suspension is believed necessary as this premises is clearly failing to meet the rudimentary requirements on the safe retail of alcohol and, in continuing to wait for changes to be made, causes an adverse impact on the licensing objectives as untrained staff failing to challenge identity and lack of supporting CCTV will continue to operate within the premises.”

Police also argue there is a growing problem with under-age drinking in nearby streets.

In a witness statement, Sergeant Timothy Robson, an officer with the Substance Misuse Unit at Chester-le-Street police station, said: “It was very much hoped by the police that following the failed test purchases under the previous owner and after lengthy mediation that rigorous measures would be put in place to prevent unlawful sales and to give inspecting authorities a degree of assurance that in-house procedures were to a now very high standard.

“Clearly this is not the case and it is my firm belief that the current operation of this premise will have an adverse impact on the protection of children and generate crime and disorder associated with young persons gaining unlawful access to alcohol.”

Mrs Kaur was unavailable for comment today.

A meeting of the licensing sub-committee will take place at the council offices, Spennymoor, County Durham, on Tuesday, December 13, at 10am.

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