Licence revoked for selling alcohol to vulnerable residents

Release Date: 25/01/2017

A local Richmond off-licence has had its licence revoked for selling extra strong alcohol to vulnerable residents from a local homeless hostel.

At the Licensing Sub-Committee hearing on Monday 23 January, the premises licence for Kew Road Stores, 107 Kew Road, Richmond was revoked. This follows an investigation by Richmond Police Licensing Team into allegations that the shop was selling extra strong lager to vulnerable residents of the nearby Spear Hostel. This resulted in an increase in anti-social behaviour in and around Richmond town centre.

On 25 November 2016, PC John McGann, the Richmond Police Licensing Officer, caught the shop owner, Mr Kandasamy Paraneetharan, selling four (4) 500ml cans of Perla Mocna Beer (7.6% ABV) to two residents of the Spear Hostel. This was in contravention of a condition on the licence that stated “No sale of super strength beers, lagers or ciders at or above 5.6%”. This condition was applied due to the shop’s proximity to the Spear Homeless Hostel.

The Licensing Sub-Committee was also told that the shop had been selling a total of nine (9) different super strength beers, lagers or ciders with an ABV above 5.6%.

After the hearing, PC John McGann, said:

“This shop preyed on vulnerable residents of the Spear Hostel to make money. The easy access to super strength alcohol caused their behaviour to deteriorate which in turn had a negative impact on alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the immediate area around Richmond Circus and also on the treatment and support being provided by the Spear charity”

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Business, added:

“It was made clear to Kew Stores that their licence prohibited them from selling strong alcohol. They broke their licence, selling an array of drinks well above their restricted level to some of the most vulnerable adults in our community.

“Let me be clear. Selling strong alcohol to vulnerable adults is not on. Not only does it have a detrimental impact on their health but, in this case, it resulted in a rise of alcohol related bad behaviour in the town centre.

“This business has not acted responsibly and now they must pay the price.”

The review application, submitted by the police, sought for the premises licence to be revoked, and this was supported by the Licensing Authority and Spear Hostel written representations and verbal evidence given at the Licensing Sub-Committee Hearing.

The Premises Licence Holder has 21 days to appeal against the decision following receipt of the Decision Notice.

Updated: 25 January 2017