A supermarket allegedly sold alcohol and cigarettes to a child in Birmingham

A Birmingham supermarket is currently barred from selling alcohol after a complaint it allegedly sold alcohol and cigarettes to a child. The license to serve alcohol at the AK supermarket in Ward End, also known as the A&A supermarket, has been returned as West Midlands Police say they have ‘no confidence’ in the licensee Licence.

Police objected to a staff member’s request to become both the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) and Premises Licensee following violations of the license objectives. A Birmingham City Council licensing committee met on Monday morning to discuss a member of staff’s application to become the DPS, a role every store must have to sell alcohol, but the store’s license was delivered the morning of the meeting. The meeting still took place because the store’s license can be reinstated within 28 days.

Mark Swallow of the West Midlands Police Licensing Team said: ‘Since the license was granted there have been numerous systematic breaches of the premises license resulting in the premises being subject to a review process. West Midlands Police have no confidence in the claimant that he will promote licensing targets as he has shown complete inability to do so so far. There are obvious risks with a premises licensee and DPS being one person and there are no checks and balances in this system. This plaintiff has demonstrated that he is completely unfit to have control of the premises licensed for the sale of liquor.”

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Police say a complaint alleged the store sold alcohol and cigarettes to a minor, which was then followed by a test purchase of alcohol when it was discovered that no DPS was only listed for locals.

Mr Swallow went on to say that the claimant from AK Supermarket had ‘shown no respect’ for the purposes of the license and ‘did not follow the law’.

Robert Edge attended the meeting on behalf of AK Supermarket and said: ‘Although Mr Swallow mentions that the licensee of the premises is also the DPS, this is not unusual and is permitted by law on the licenses. It might not be something the police are always particularly happy about, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong, especially in a one-man team when they can’t afford to employ a manager as a DPS. Second, I would say that for alleged infringements, evidence must be produced, so to say there are alleged infringements should really be backed up by child test purchases or CCTV evidence.

Mr Edge also said the plaintiff apologized and realized the seriousness of this matter, which is why he waived the license. He does not intend to transfer the license within the 28 day period. The council heard that there was “no malice” in what he had done and “was not aware” that another DPS license was required in addition to the premises license.

The Board is currently discussing the matter privately and will notify the affected parties within five business days of their decision to grant or deny the DPS request.

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