Venue: Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham
Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01362 656870
To receive apologies for absence.
Declaration of Interests
The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011. Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.
Report of the Executive Manager People & Protection, Phil Adams.
The Hearing was conducted in accordance with the procedure as set out in the Agenda.
The following persons were in attendance:
Vicky Conlon – Norfolk Trading Standards
Leona Page – Norfolk Trading Standards
Premises Licence Holder
Mr Haval Shokir
Premises Licence Holder Representative
That having considered the written and verbal evidence presented by all parties, in arriving at its determination, the Panel took due notice of the Licensing Act 2003, (in particular, Section 144) and the Regulations made under it, the guidance issued under Section 182, including paragraphs 11.24-11.28 and the Licensing Authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy.
In order to promote the Licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder the Panel agreed to revoke the licence as no other steps would adequately address the issues with these premises.
Reasons for Decision
The Panel took account of the evidence before it, provided with the agenda.
The Premises Licence Holder/Designated Premises Supervisor did not dispute that criminal activity had taken place at the premises. The keeping or allowing to be kept smuggled goods is to be treated particularly seriously and the Section 182 guidance indicates that revocation should be seriously considered even in the first instance. The quantity of illegal tobacco products amounted to 74,360 cigarettes, 20.6 kilos of hand rolled tobacco with a legitimate street price value of approximately £43,300. This was described by Trading Standards as being of a commercial quantity.
The Premises Licence Holder/DPS claimed that he was initially not aware that tobacco products were being stores at the premises. He originally agreed to the items being stored at the premises as he felt threatened by the individuals concerned. Once he realised they were tobacco products he asked for them to be removed. They were not. He did not report the storage to the authorities due to concerns about his safety. He further denied when questioned by Trading Standards that the storage room was under his control but when threatened with arrest he admitted that it was.
The Panel noted that the Premises Licence Holder denies selling such products.
Even it were accepted that the Premises Licence Holder was not responsible for the contraband tobacco products, it is apparent that he has failed to comply with the Licensing objectives namely the prevention of crime and disorder. The Panel felt it could have no confidence in the management of these premises by the premises licence holder and that similar incidents may happen again.
It is not the role of the Panel to decide who is responsible for the criminality but investigations are on-going. The Panel does not have to wait for the outcome of those investigations in order to take steps to protect the community.
In order to promote the Licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder it is appropriate to revoke the licence as no other steps would adequately address the issues with these premises.