Wisbech off licence goes ‘dry’ after council hears from police and bans it from selling alcohol
14:46 04 February 2014
A Wisbech off licence has been banned from selling alcohol following police concerns over the way it has operated.
Fenland Council licensing committee met today and agreed to a submission by Sgt Dave Bax who asked for the premises licence for the Nene Way store to be revoked.
Councillor Will Sutton, chairman, said the police had called for a review of Wisbech Off Licence on grounds of public safety and the prevention of crime and order.
He said the committee was “concerned that the public safety objective is being undermined” following a recent court case in which owner Hassan Pispar was fined for selling counterfeit tobacco.
Cllr Sutton said the committee was also concerned that CCTV at the premises had broken down on the day when Pispar had admitted he bought the counterfeit tobacco.
This said the chairman had “denied an opportunity for police to identify the person selling the illegal tobacco”.
Cllr Sutton said there had been “a history with these premises and the keeping of smuggled goods” and referred to a similar hearing for the same premises but involving a different licence holder a year ago.
“Despite a change of ownership the same illegal activity continues which this committee treats very seriously and this has been taken into consideration when reaching our decision,” said Cllr Sutton.
The hearing heard that when asked to put his case forward today, Pispar had told police he had “nothing to say. I have no problem with revoking the premises licence”.
Today’s hearing had been postponed from last month to enable an interpreter to be brought to Fenland Hall to assist Pispar.
On January 29, Pispar had been fined £200 by Kings Lynn magistrates on January 9 for offences relating to discovery of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco.