Sheffield shop loses licence for selling booze to youths

Underage sales: D'Beers off licence, Crookes, and, inset, licensing board chairman, Coun Clive Skelton.                   MAIN PICTURE: STUART HASTINGS.
Underage sales: D'Beers off licence, Crookes, and, inset, licensing board chairman, Coun Clive Skelton. MAIN PICTURE: STUART HASTINGS.

AN OFF licence which has been caught selling booze seven times to underage youngsters in police ‘sting’ operations has lost its licence.

D’Beers, on Crookes, was the subject of a 48-hour closure order in December 2011 after being caught serving two under-18s.

Since then, police have kept tabs on the store which included sending young people in undercover to attempt to buy alcohol.

A 15-year-old girl was able to buy beer in March.

South Yorkshire Police made the application for the licence to be reviewed at a meeting of the council’s licensing board.

In the police’s application, Andrea Marsden, of the licensing team, said: “Test purchasing operations are conducted following complaints from the public and observations by police staff that many instances of anti-social behaviour involve young people under 18 who have acquired alcohol.

“There appears to be an obvious lack of responsibility by the designated premises supervisor and the licence holder.”

The police said the licence holder, Neil Tyler, had failed four other test purchasing operations in 2008 and 2009.

Training was offered to the shop’s representatives on checking for under-age customers and asking for identification but nobody from the store attended the sessions in February this year.

At its meeting, Sheffield Council’s licensing board, chaired by Coun Clive Skelton, decided to revoke D’Beers licence.

Nobody from D’Beers was available for comment.

The store can continue to trade for the next 21 days, during which it is allowed to appeal against the decision.