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Warrington Shop Suspected Of Selling More Than 7000 Illegal Cigarettes Has Had Its Licence Revoked

The council’s licensing sub-committee has considered an application for the review of the premises licence for Roma Community Store and Off Licence, on Orford Lane.

An application for the review was received from the authority on November 29.

The grounds comprised the ‘nature and style’ of the operation of the premises ‘undermining’ the prevention of crime and disorder, as well as the protection of children from harm.

It came after tobacco products were found at the premises with illegal plain packaging, while some products were identified as being counterfeit.

There have also been numerous breaches of licence conditions imposed on the premises.

The licensing sub-committee revoked the licence due to the ‘failure of the premises to promote the licensing objectives’.

But the licence holder has 21 days to appeal the decision.

In the application for the review, Dave Watson, the council’s public protection unit manager, said 7,020 cigarettes and 23 pouches of tobacco were recovered from an alleyway to the side of the premises during a visit on October 12 last year.

He added: “Witness statements from Imperial Tobacco and JTI have confirmed that part of the seizure has been confirmed as counterfeit.

“There are also offences in relation to the illegal packaging on the products.

“In addition to the large quantity of illegal products, numerous breaches of licence conditions were discovered in relation to the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm.”

In a witness statement, an officer from the council’s public protection team said neither of the people working in the shop at the time had admitted to being in a ‘position of responsibility’.

The site falls in the ward of Fairfield and Howley councillor Tony Higgins, who is the executive board member for leisure and community.

He said: “When a licence is revoked, it is done for good reason.

“The committee tasked with this review would have had supporting evidence and only with this evidence would such a decision be taken.”

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