Southsea sweet shop is given a licence to sell alcohol

Taxpayers forking out millions in legal costs

Have your say

ALCOHOL will be sold from a Southsea sweet shop despite strong objections from police and neighbouring residents.

Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday decided to allow Sweet Dreams in Fawcett Road to sell alcohol from 9am to 10pm every day.

The shop’s owners argued that Sweet Dreams was a convenience store.

But police say it is a sweet shop which is popular with children and mainly sells confectionery.

Sixty-eight people signed a petition opposing the licence, saying there were already enough shops selling alcoholic drinks, and expressing concern because the shop is close to Priory Secondary school.

A petition supporting the plan was signed by 33 people.

Hampshire police licensing officer PC Brian Swallow said: ‘This is a sweet shop and we fear there will be an increase in youth drinking, as it’s so close to a school.

‘We fear young people will get others to buy them alcohol, or steal it and drink it at school. We strongly oppose this.’

PC Keith Hall, also a licensing officer, added: ‘Because 75 to 80 per cent of the products on offer here are sweets, it attracts children. They won’t come in wanting to buy alcohol, but if this is on display in the shop it will be a temptation to the youngsters.’

But the shop’s owner, Eva Redlova, who has a personal licence to sell alcohol, said she did not believe Priory School pupils drink at school, and the officers admitted they had no crime statistics with them.

Her representative, Robert Jordan, said: ‘She’s a responsible shop-owner. The alcohol will be locked until 9am, when the youngsters will be in school, and again for 45 minutes when school ends. There are five shops and three pubs selling alcohol on Fawcett Road, including one shop even closer to the school than Sweet Dreams, and there’s no evidence children drink at school.’