THREE Southampton shops could be banned from selling booze – after being caught out selling alcohol to teenagers.
Police have brought cases against three convenience stores, which will all face licensing reviews this week.
Zain Ali, premises licence holder at Shop Local in Shirley Road, will face licensing chiefs for the second time in just over a year.
A number of conditions were imposed on the shop last year after staff sold alcohol to youngsters under the age of 18 on two occasions, but the licence could be taken away altogether after booze was sold to a 17-year-old in June. Police say conditions imposed on the shop – formerly Bargain Booze and Premier Quick Shop – such as having a functioning CCTV system, a refusals log and extra training, have not been adhered to.
In a report, the police say: “It is extremely disappointing and disturbing that, a year after a review hearing, standards have fallen to a point where underage sales of alcohol are being made and conditions implemented to prevent this crime occurring are not being maintained.”
Mr Ali said designated premises supervisor Daxeshkumar Patel now runs the shop, not him, saying: “The review last year was when I was running the shop, but it’s a totally different case now. Other people are running the shop and are responsible for what they do.”
Olubukunola Bankole could also lose his licence at Best One Convenience Store, also in Shirley Road, after a bottle of Lambrini was sold to a 15-year-old girl in June.
Officers also say Mr Bankole has “disregarded” steps he put forward to become licence holder last year, such as not having a functioning CCTV system, no staff training and that alcohol was visible from outside the shop.
Mr Bankole said he had not been notified about Thursday’s hearing, but added that he feels he has been “targeted”.
He said: “There was an error of judgement from one of my members of staff who sold the alcohol to the lady because he thought she was over 18, but we have already been fined for that and we are being punished for it again.”
He will face licensing chiefs at a hearing on Thursday, alongside Kanaththge Perera, licence holder at the Family Food Store in Warren Avenue.
His store is in the dock after a number of issues with the shop’s CCTV system and after a 15- year-old girl bought a bottle of WKD there in June as part of a test purchase operation.
In their report, officers also say he has not stuck to strict conditions imposed on the sale of alcohol at the shop to reduce drink-related antisocial behaviour in nearby St James Park and Shirley High Street.
Mr Perera said: “It’s the first time I’ve had a problem like this.
“I would normally ID all customers but the girl looked like she was 25 or older, not 15, so that’s why I didn’t ID her.”