Fareham shop facing action after caught selling alcohol to underage children

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  • Fareham convenience store set for council action after two test purchase failures in eleven weeks
  • Store only opened up last summer
  • Owner says he is ‘very sorry’ in letter to police
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A SHOP is facing council action after it was caught selling alcohol to under-age children.

Costcutter in Fareham’s West Street sold alcohol to three under-age children on two separate occasions this year.

I am very sorry about this, Mr K is fully trained, he has a personal licence and I do not understand why he served under-age [children].

Store owner Jaranjeet Singh, in letter to police

Due to the severity of the actions, the convenience store will be hauled in front of Fareham Borough Council’s licensing panel next week for a review.

The licensing review was called for by Hampshire County Council’s trading standards team, who have urged the panel to consider suspending the licence for three months.

Hampshire Constabulary carried out the first failed test purchase on May 5.

In a letter to store manager, Jaranjeet Singh after the incident, PC Jason Pearce warned the store about the repercussions of another failure.

He wrote: ‘Please be aware that there will be a re-test within the next three months. Should there be a further failure then the outcome for the business could result in more severe intervention.’

During the test purchase failure, a 37-year-old man, identified as ‘Mr K’ sold two 16-year-olds cider without asking them for ID, despite the store having a Challenge 25 policy.

The letter added: ‘At this stage our intention is to work with you in order to put you in the best possible position for the future to prevent similar incidents from occurring.’

In a response to the incident, Mr Singh wrote back: ‘I am very sorry about this, Mr K is fully trained, he has a personal licence and I do not understand why he served under-age [children].’

However, during the follow-up test purchase by the trading standards team on July 20, a staff member identified as ‘Mr R’, aged 44, sold alcohol to another 16-year-old, resulting in a £90 fine.

In the application for a review from the authority, it states: ‘We believe it is not appropriate to revoke the premises licence.’

The team then calls for the implementation of challenges for photographic ID to be entered into a refusals book, that alcohol sales made by a premises licence holder and that the person responsible for alcohol sales receive training.

It adds: ‘The premises licence to be suspended for three months or until these conditions have been complied with.’

The meeting at the Civic Offices in Fareham takes place from 10am.