Late night store faces alcohol ban

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A shop in Biggleswade’s High Street is facing having its alcohol licence revoked.

Police are calling for action against City Point, also known as Gills Mini Market, after a series of incidents.

The case is due to come before Central Bedfordshire Council’s licensing committee today (Friday).

In a report to the committee, Bedfordshire Police set out a list of issues with the shop, including selling alcohol late at night.

The report says: “This review has been intelligence led, then supported by evidence gathered during recent visits to the shop.

“There is a disregard for the current licence conditions, along with concerns of sales taking place after the premise licensed hours.

“There is a concern regarding the safety of young people in the local area with intelligence highlighting the sale of alcohol to underage.”

City Point’s licence allows it to stay open until midnight but the police claim it has been allowing people to enter after that time with the lights switched off and staff checking for police officers before allowing customers in.

An acting sergeant also reports seeing a man at 1.30am on November 18, 2015 talking to members of the public outside the shop and then walking back in to select alcohol from the shelves.

Officers say they met with licence holder Joseph Thevarasa who denied the claims but was then observed on August 12 this year allowing members of the public inside his premises with the lights off to purchase alcohol.

“Anti-social behaviour in the area is up to 16.1% and the constant sales of alcohol after midnight when the pubs are closed could be a contributing factor,” said the report.

One police officer who had watched the shop reported: “I have also spoken to at least 10 residents in Biggleswade in the last year that have told me that it will serve them after hours and it is the one place to get an extra drink after the pubs have shut.”

No-one from the shop was available for comment as the Chronicle went to press.