Sheffield shop has alcohol licence stripped after 'selling fake cigarettes' to children

Sta's on Main Road in Darnall
Sta's on Main Road in Darnall
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A Sheffield shop which was discovered to be selling fake cigarettes to children has had its alcohol licence revoked.

Sta’s, in Main Road, Darnall, can no longer sell alcohol to the public following a lengthy investigation by Trading Standards.

Some of the cigarettes seized by trading standards from the Sta's shop

Some of the cigarettes seized by trading standards from the Sta's shop

Members of the licensing sub-committee on Tuesday heard from the current licence holder and designated premises Supervisor, Nadiya Chzhen, who explained that she had not been fulfilling her responsibilities since the business changed hands in 2015.

She said that she had not informed the council’s licensing service of her change in position, and nor had the new business operator applied for the premises licence to be transferred.

The shop had therefore been operating for a considerable period when there was no effective control over alcohol sales, and adequate controls were not in place to guard against sales of alcohol to children.

This licence review follows an investigation by Sheffield Council’s trading standards specialist illicit tobacco team. Trading Standards’ evidence at the hearing related to the storage and supply of illicit tobacco products at Sta’s going back at least five years - allegedly under different owners.

The review application was supported by the city council’s Safeguarding Children Service and South Yorkshire Police, who provided evidence of sales of tobacco to children and lack of measures to protect children from harm.

Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment at Sheffield Council, said: “Our Trading Standards team work hard to keep people in Sheffield safe from harm, and cracking down on shops that serve tobacco to children is an important part of this.

“We hope that this decision will send a strong message to other business owners who think that they can get away with selling illicit cigarettes, or serving tobacco to children.

“We can and will take action, and you could lose your alcohol licence.

“I would also encourage members of the public who have concerns about shops operating outside of the law to call trading standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.”