Harlow Town Centre corner shop loses booze licence

News / Wed 7th Mar 2018 at 12:45pm

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A LICENCE to sell alcohol has been revoked from a Harlow town centre store following an investigation by Essex Trading Standards and Essex Police which revealed illicit tobacco hidden in the walls of the building.

Following a joint operation with Essex Police in November last year, Harlow Council’s Licensing Committee took action yesterday (Tuesday, 6 March) against the Street Corner Shop.

The shop was targeted after intelligence received by the Police and Trading Standards indicated the store owners were persistent sellers of illicit tobacco.

During a joint raid, 7,700 cigarettes and 3.1kg of hand rolling tobacco was found concealed within walls and in vehicles connected with the shop. The concealment was sniffed out by trained detection dogs – Scampi and Yoyo of BWY Canine.

The decision to revoke the store’s alcohol licence was made by Harlow Council to act as a stronger deterrent to the store’s owners as it will have a have a higher financial impact on the business.

Cllr Susan Barker, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “The importance of this work cannot be underestimated and it would not happen without the help and support of the people of Essex.

“We are finding that more and more criminal businesses are using sophisticated means to conceal illicit tobacco, often investing significant sums of money into their installation.

“The outcome today has marked the start of a new regime in tackling the illegal tobacco trade in Harlow Town Centre. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, not only because of the additional health concerns from smoking the illegal tobacco, but also because this is a network of criminal activity. “However, our actions alone are not enough. Together with Essex police, and with a multi-agency approach, we will utilise powers within our reach to eradicate this problem within Harlow Town Centre.”

The seized tobacco from November will be destroyed.

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