Police discovery of 'illegal worker' leads to licence review for Northampton newsagents

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A Northampton newsagents’ licence will be reviewed after a person with no right to work in the UK was discovered to be an employee, according to police.

The Premier Fairfield News store, on Fairfield Road in Kingsley, was visited during a joint police and Trading Standards investigation on October 4, after receiving reports that the premises was selling ‘watered down vodka’.

After officers entered the store, they discovered a man stacking the shelves, who it later transpired had been served deportation papers.

A witness statement from PC Chris Stevens says: “I asked for his details and he provided me with a name and date of birth that upon checking with the Immigration Service, showed no trace of this person. When I asked him again he told me he could only write it in his native language and so I tried to enlist the help of the premises owner.

“He seemed to ask the male what his name was and eventually provided details for the male. These details again showed no trace and upon advice from the Immigration Service led to the arrest of the male on suspicion of immigration offences. Later on, when he was processed in custody, he was identified as a person subject to deportation with no right to work in the UK.”

The Home Office has confirmed that the worker, a national of India, has applied for asylum in the UK, and that this is still under consideration.

Northamptonshire Police has asked elected members of Northampton Borough Council’s alcohol and gambling licensing sub-committee to review Fairfield News' current licence, which is supervised by Amirthalingam Krishnakumar.

It says that the premises licence holder ‘either took steps to provide false details’ to them, or that they had ‘no idea of the true identity of the person he had employed’.

Police officers also say they will provide CCTV evidence that the person had been working at the premises, despite ‘the assertions that he wasn’t’ by both the worker and the owner of the premises.

A hearing to determine the licence will be held at The Guildhall at 10am on Thursday (December 6).

The sub-committee can take a number of actions, which vary from modifying the conditions of the licence, to removing the designated premises supervisor, or suspending or revoking the licence.