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Best One in Hawthorn Road in Sittingbourne to surrender alcohol licence

A corner shop owner has taken steps to surrender their alcohol licence after reports drink was sold to children and 86 illegal vapes were seized from the premises.

An application to revoke the licence was made to Swale Borough Council by Kent Police after concerns were raised around Best One on Hawthorn Road in Sittingbourne.

Best One in Hawthorn Road in Sittingbourne has taken steps to surrender its licence Photo: Google
Best One in Hawthorn Road in Sittingbourne has taken steps to surrender its licence Photo: Google

Officers visited the shop, with council workers and trading standards, on July 27 to investigate reports alcohol, tobacco products and vapes were being sold to people who were underage.

The owner does have a licence to sell alcohol. But during the visit Roopesh Kapoor told them Vijay Kapoor - the designated premises supervisor (DPS) under the licence - had retired three years ago.

The conditions of their licence meant all alcohol sales in the shop during this time were illegal.

Officers also seized 86 illegal vapes.

On August 23 Roopesh Kapoor submitted an application for the grant of a personal licence to him, as well as for the variation of the DPS so that he could take up this position.

But three days later Kent Police objected and a hearing was convened by the council’s licensing sub-committee to determine whether Roopesh Kapoor is suitable to remain the premises holder.

However, yesterday morning (October 10), when the licensing department was meant to decide on the revocation, he could not attend.

It was also revealed that he had voluntarily surrendered the premises' licence.

Kent Police’s evidence to the council says it has had a "number of reports of age restricted sales to persons under 18".

It added: “However at this time, no confirmed sales have taken place from the premises prior to June 2023.”

“Trading Standards officers present seized a total of 86 illegal vape products, as well as identifying a product containing Isopropyl Nitrate which can be sold as a room odouriser, but is also used as a ‘popper’.”

SBC's licensing panel decided to adjourn and will instead meet at a later date unless the police and other parties withdraw their representations.

A Swale Borough Council spokesman said: "The Licensing Sub Committee recognises the seriousness of the allegations and have determined to adjourn the hearing to a date to be set following consultation with all parties.

"The Premises Licence Holder has taken steps to surrender the premises licence."

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