Two more shops illegal alcohol probe

APPLICATIONS to suspend the alcohol licences of two Worthing shops have been made as a deterrent to “further criminal activity by the licence holders”.

The premises concerned are the Best One, at 5 Coronation Buildings, Ham Road, and the Premier Supermarket Express, at 4-6 South Street, Tarring.

Both applications, for a three-month suspension, will be heard, respectively, on March 29, and April 2, by Worthing licensing councillors.

West Sussex Trading Standards made the applications after alleged incidents involving the sale, or offering for sale, of illegal alcohol to the public from the shops.

News of the applications follow a Worthing Council licensing committee decision last Wednesday to suspend for three months the licence of Quality Food Cash and Carry, at 30 Teville road, Worthing.

Trading Standards told the hearing that potentially “hazardous” vodka and suspected counterfeit wine were being sold at the store, and jars selling “honey and nuts” and “honey and syrup” did not contain any honey.

The products were said to have been delivered in an “unmarked white van”.

It was also claimed that there were several breaches of fire safety and supervisory regulations for the premises.

Trading Standards’ original application asked for the licence to be revoked or suspended. But after successful mediation, it was resolved last Wednesday that the licence should be suspended for three months while several measures were carried out.

These include:

*The premises close for business at 11pm.

*A full fire risk assessment be carried out.

*A clear, new management structure be established, in writing.

*No goods to be purchased from door-to-door sellers, but only from fully-authorised suppliers.

The committee expressed their “concern and disappointment” that West Sussex Fire and Rescue had not been more “pro-active in dealing with the issues in these premises”.

Members had been told that no staff fire drill training had been undertaken, and any extinguishers provided were last tested in 2004 and 2008.

Members recommended that the leaseholder, Mr Aktepe, undertake management training.