Shop loses licence after selling alcohol to children

The First Stop shop in Portchester
The First Stop shop in Portchester

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A CONVENIENCE store has lost the right to sell alcohol after it was caught serving underage children for the third time in a year.

First Stop in West Street, Portchester, was stripped of its licence yesterday by Fareham Borough Council.

It failed two test purchase operations in November and December and the council had received a tip-off that it had sold alcohol to a person who was under 18.

A joint operation between the council, Hampshire County Council Trading Standards and the police requested for the licence to be revoked and a review hearing held.

Chairman of the licensing panel Cllr Pamela Bryant said: ‘The decision to revoke this licence and take away someone’s livelihood is never an easy decision and extremely rare but we have a duty to ensure that children do not have easy access to alcohol.

‘We will continue to test premises in the borough in order to protect children from underage drinking. I would like to thank the police, Trading Standards and Fareham’s Community Safety Partnership for all of their hard work.’

Licensing Officer PC Jason Pearce warned they would continue to carry out test purchases in the area.

He added: ‘This result should send out a strong message to all licensed premises about the consequences of selling alcohol to children. A decision to revoke a premise’s licence is never taken lightly but it is sometimes the necessary course of action.’

The revocation of the licence will come into effect after 21 days, which will allow the premises time to appeal the decision. If no appeal is made, the ban starts on April 2.

No-one from First Stop was available for comment yesterday.