A shop which ‘employed a number of illegal workers’ and had been ‘the centre of anti-social behaviour problems’ has had its Alcohol Premises Licence revoked.
A hearing in front of East Lindsey District Council’s licencing sub-committee made the decision regarding Bargain Booze, of Roman Bank Skegness, following a hearing on Monday.
Councillors heard how a visit to the premises in which an illegal worker was found in sole control of the store and agreed with the police that shop owner Keshara Kaluarachige ‘had employed a number of illegal workers and that the shop had been at the centre of anti-social behaviour problems being experienced by the local community’.
Police said the visit followed ‘numerous attempts’ to engage with the owners and address the problems.
Sergeant Kim Enderby from the Alcohol Licensing Department said: “The local community was experiencing anti-social behaviour caused by the sale of alcohol from this store.
“This was totally unacceptable. We visited the store in an attempt to offer the owners advice and support in reducing the problems but what we found was a poorly run store, in breach of their licence conditions, with a male in sole charge who was barred from any form of work due to his immigration status.
“When local officers did a follow up visit the next day another male, also believed to be an illegal immigrant, made off from them when they entered the store.
“We are committed to ensuring that any business with a Premises Licence operates in a responsible and legitimate way.
“If the sales of alcohol cause problems to the local community we will take action.
“The decision of the sub-committee to revoke the Premises Licence is a clear deterrent to other stores.
“Illegally employing workers in this way gives the store advantage over other legitimate retailers and can lead to the exploitation of the worker.
A spokesman for national retailer Bargain Booze said the store was ‘not an official store’.
They said “We are taking the necessary steps to prevent the owner from using the Bargain Booze name.”
There is a 21 day appeal process after which, if no appeal is submitted, the revocation comes into action.