Constable objects to alcohol licence for Northampton shop with history of selling illicit tobacco

The Riga shop in Kettering Road, which Northamptonshire Police said had a history of illicit tobacco offences listed against it
The Riga shop in Kettering Road, which Northamptonshire Police said had a history of illicit tobacco offences listed against it

A grocer's in Northampton would appear to have a slim chance of gaining a licence to sell booze after police objected on several grounds, including a list of offences against the premises for selling illegal tobacco.

The boss of the Riga store at 89 Kettering Road has asked councillors to approve an application for it to sell alcoholic drinks between 8am and midnight.

Public health bosses have asked that special regulations be attached to any licence granted.

But Northamptonshire Police has cast grave doubt on that even coming to pass after PC Chris Stevens cited a total of five reasons why Northampton Borough councillors should reject application at their Guildhall committee meeting this week.

He said that both the applicant's former address and his new premises have a list of offences attached to them concerning illicit tobacco. The applicant had also apparently supplied a fake address with the paperwork.

PC Stevens, a licensing officer with the police, said: "The address given by the applicant would appear to be fraudulent as he has given his home address as a flat above the premises during recent contact with the police.

"The address he has given is a shop in Boston that has had numerous offences registered against it for illicit tobacco and illicit alcohol. The licence has been revoked on numerous occasions and is currently unlicensed because of this."

And speaking about the Northampton shop, PC Stevens adds: "Riga has a well-documented history of being involved in illicit tobacco."

PC Stevens' other objections were that "the applicant is unsuitable due to crime and disorder issues"

He also pointed out that the area of Kettering Road near Riga has lots street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

PC Stevens adds: "The cumulative impact of this premises having an alcohol licence would therefore undermine the licensing objectives."

Peter Barker, Northamptonshire's assistant director of public health said the fact that the surrounding area of Kettering Road was an alcohol harm hotspot meant County Hall would recommend stricter conditions if councillors went against police advice.

No beer, lager or cider above 6.5 per cent ABV should be sold, Mr Barker said.

He also advised that alcohol guidelines by UK Chief Medical Officers should be displayed near any shelf containing alcohol; and that ads or signs relating to booze should be visible from outside the shop.

The councillors are set to make their decision on Friday, November 4.