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Newsagents face licence review after 'alcopops sold to teenage girl'

Great Barr | Crime | Published:

A newsagents which sold two bottles of alcopops to a 15-year-old girl will face a review hearing.

Google Street View image of Brooklyn News in Birdbrook Road, Great Barr. Credit: Google.

Two female volunteers aged 14 and 15 were sent in by Trading Standards officers to buy alcohol from Brooklyn News, in Birdbrook Road, Great Barr, in February.

The 15-year-old volunteer was sold two bottles of WKD Blue, a pre-mixed 4% vodka drink, for £5.98.

Paramjit Singh, the shop’s licence holder and designated premises supervisor (DPS), did not ask for the customer’s ID despite her being three years under the legal drinking age, the report states.

Officers witnessed the sale and afterwards told Mr Singh the sale would be reported.

The account from Trading Standards says he had personally been advised against selling alcohol and tobacco to under 18-year-olds.

Officers have now called on Birmingham City Council's licensing sub-committee to impose stricter conditions on the shop’s licence at its online hearing on May 18.

These include a “Challenge 25” proof of age scheme, staff training and record keeping, the use of a refusals register and CCTV.

The report from enforcement officer Naseem Shamas says: “Although there had been no recent complaints, the sale of alcohol to persons under the age of 18 is a serious offence under The Licensing Act 2003.

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“It can have serious consequences when it gets into the hands of young people.

“It can make them vulnerable and put them in compromising situations as well as causing serious health issues if taken in excess.

“There is no excuse at all for making the sale to the volunteer; this was done by Mr Paramjit Singh.

“As the premises licence holder (PLH) and the DPS, he should have known better.”

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West Midlands Police has stated it supports the application for the review.

A letter from PC Abdool Rohomon said: “The grounds for the review application appear serious in their nature.

“The sale of alcohol to minors is a serious issue, especially to the health and well-being of the child.

“It is noted in this case that the person that conducted the sale was in fact both the DPS and the PLH.

“This is especially concerning as being both the DPS and PLH this person has ultimate control over the premises both in terms of the sale of alcohol and how it is run.”

The shop has submitted documents to the sub-committee including proposed conditions to be added to the licence, such as “Challenge 25” posters to be placed on the front door.

The shop’s licence review will be available to view online at 10am on May 18, which can be viewed at: civico.net/birmingham

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