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Darwen shop loses its licence after kids buy booze
A DARWEN off-licence caught selling alcohol to children has been stripped of its licence for four weeks.
Muhammad Shuaib Iqbal, owner of Lynwood Wines on Blackburn Road, has been forced to stop selling alcohol by Blackburn with Darwen Council after police and officers from Trading Standards gathered evidence of alcohol being served to children as young as 14.
The shop was warned about the issue but failed another two test purchase operations.
In six test purchase operations since 2010, the store has failed four.
PC Steve Finley, community beat manager in Blackburn town centre, said: “We have tried to work with the shop to resolve the situation but the owner has repeatedly failed to comply with the conditions of the licence.
“It is extremely disappointing it has got to this stage — we have a fantastic relationship with licensees and shop owners in the town and will always do everything we can to avoid having to take such action.
“I hope the ruling sends out a clear message that the police and council are committed to reducing underage drinking to make Blackburn a safe and enjoyable place to live, work and socialise.”
The owner of the shop appealed and, following a further hearing on July 11, Hyndburn magistrates upheld the decision of the council’s licensing committee The shop must now adhere to a number of additional con-ditions, including using the Challenge 25 scheme, where everyone who appears to be under 25 will be asked for proof of age and ensuring all members of staff attend a responsible retailing course.
Coun Yusuf Jan-Virmani, executive member for neighbourhoods, housing and customer services, said: “I’m pleased with the ruling and this does send out a strong message to anyone thinking of selling alcohol to under age children that we will clamp down on you and you will face sanctions.”
Anyone with information about underage sales of alcohol should police on 101.