Immediate closure ordered for Smethwick carpet shop due to coronavirus breaches

A carpet shop in the Black Country has been forced to close – following repeated breaches of coronavirus regulations.

NCF Carpets, in Cape Hill, Smethwick. Photo: Google
NCF Carpets, in Cape Hill, Smethwick. Photo: Google

A hearing at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on Thursday, March 4, granted Sandwell Council a closure order for NCF Carpets, in Cape Hill, Smethwick, following several breaches relating to Covid-19 regulations.

The carpet shop was served with an order issued under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. The closure order requires the business to close with immediate effect.

Anyone found entering the premises could also face a fine or imprisonment.

The order was served by Sandwell Council and West Midlands Police – and the action was ordered following evidence that the business was open and allowing customers inside to browse and buy carpets which is a breach of the regulations.

The business had previously been served with prohibition notices and three Fixed Penalty Notices totalling £4,000, yet still continued to operate illegally.

Under the current regulations carpet shops are restricted businesses and are currently only allowed to operate through click and collect.

Safety

Sandwell Council's deputy leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: “Our primary concern has always been the safety of staff, customers and residents.

"We will continue to come down hard on businesses who breach the rules and show a clear lack of concern for the safety and wellbeing of their community.”

Chief Superintendent Ian Green, of Sandwell Police, said: “Policing the pandemic has been very difficult for officers and staff.

"We have tried to engage and educate the public around the guidelines through a number of changing scenarios, and the majority of the public and businesses have supported the national effort against Covid-19.

“Unfortunately despite a number of warnings some business and people have continued to breach the regulations and put lives at risk.

“The carpet shop has been dealt with robustly following a number of breaches including a fine that they also didn’t pay.

“Our aim is to protect the public and it is disappointing that we have had to get to this stage to prevent this business from breaching by the rules.”

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