A shop in Canterbury has surrendered its licence to sell alcohol following concerns about sales to underage customers.
Kent Police requested a review of the licence at AK Enterprise in Longport with a view to revocation following an incident in which a teenage girl required hospital treatment.
Prior to the meeting of Canterbury City Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on Wednesday 6 April 2022, the shop decided to surrender its licence.
Officers from Canterbury’s Community Safety Unit and Trading Standards visited the shop following an incident in October 2021.
Two teenage girls aged 14 and 15 had purchased alcohol from the store twice in 45 minutes before one of them became seriously ill and required urgent hospital treatment.
During the subsequent visit to the shop, officers were concerned about the lack of CCTV of the sales, and the store’s failure to keep a refusals book, or show records of staff training around licensing issues.
The surrender of the licence means the shop will be unable to sell alcohol without reapplying to the city council and showing it has put appropriate measures in place to prevent sales to people under 18.
PC Jim Gall, Licensing Officer for Canterbury Community Safety Unit, said: ‘Laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol to children are in place for a good reason; to prevent young people from coming to harm.
‘Any premises which sell alcohol has a duty to protect young people and we will take action against any business we believe is not adhering to the rules.
‘I hope one positive to come from this upsetting incident is that the message goes out to other businesses that they must not sell alcohol to underage customers, and must have procedures in place to ensure they comply with the law.
‘We will continue to work closely with Canterbury City Council, Trading Standards and other partners to keep Canterbury safe.’
Cllr Ashley Clark, Chair of Canterbury City Council’s Licensing Committee, said: ‘I would like to commend the police for their prompt and proactive action in bringing this matter to our attention.
‘The decision to surrender the licence has saved a lot of time, cost and difficulty for witnesses.
‘We take our mission to uphold the licensing objectives very seriously and we have a large number of licensed premises in this district.
‘Those who act responsibly and stick to the rules will get our full support but those who are found to have flouted those rules in a brazen manner must expect that this committee will come down on them like a ton of bricks.’