Wild Park Local could be banned from selling alcohol

A SHOP’s liquor license is in jeopardy after failing two tests for selling liquor to minors.

Sussex Police have asked Wild Park Local to lose their license ahead of a review, after staff sold alcohol to 16-year-olds in test purchases six months apart.

A report presented to a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing committee on Wednesday March 2 says a fixed penalty notice was issued for the first time to a member of staff who sold a bottle of rose wine to a young girl 16-year-old girl on June 17, 2021.

Following the sale, the company’s Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), Mahendra Kumar Patel, who would have day-to-day responsibility for liquor sales at the store, received an official written letter.

In July, the DPS passed from Mr Patel, who is also the licensee of the premises, to Vaishali Patel.

Additional conditions were added to the license in July prohibiting the sale of beer, lager, cider or perry over 6%, CCTV was installed, a 25 challenge policy was adopted and records refusal and training records must be available for inspection at all times. .

On December 9, 2021, a 16-year-old boy bought a can of Country Choice dry apple cider from the same staff member who made the sale in June.

A concurrent store license check revealed cider for sale with an ABV of 7.55%, no 25 challenge posters, and no incident or denial logs or training logs available for inspection.

When licensing officers visited the business to collect CCTV footage 20 days after the request, they discovered the high-strength cider was still on sale.

The DPS had not signed the refusal log and no training log was available for inspection.

Miss Patel said she was trying to let the information about buying the test ‘sink’ and did not want to lose the liquor license in response to emails from police officer Hannah Staplehurst.

In her report, Operations, Planning and Licensing Inspector Michelle Palmer-Harris said: ‘Sussex Police do not believe these premises have responded to our phased approach and have failed test purchases of minors twice involving the same staff member.

“This is a serious concern, which undermines the goal of protecting children from harm, and further action should be considered.

“Due to the presence of conditions, added on July 23, 2021, which are already intended to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors and the lack of action by management to comply with the license conditions, it is difficult to see what other conditions or other measures could be adopted.

“Sussex Police’s recommendation would be to revoke the premises license.”

The Licensing Committee’s virtual hearing is scheduled for webcast beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2 on the City Council’s website.

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