Lancashire Police and Preston Council leader oppose 24-hour alcohol licence at Spar where meat was security tagged

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Plans to sell alcohol 24-hours a day at a Preston Spar shop are being fought by the police and the council leader.

Ankajan Satkunanathan is seeking permission to vary the premises licence at the shop in Plungington Road, so booze can be sold round-the-clock, seven days a week.

What is the licence right now?

Currently, the licence permits the shop to sell alcohol from 8am to 11pm on Monday – Saturday and from 10am to 10.30pmon Sundays.

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The Spar in Plungington.The Spar in Plungington.
The Spar in Plungington.

On Christmas Day they can sell from 12pm to 3pm and from 7pm to 10.30pm, and on Good Friday from 8am to 10.30pm.

In addition to the mandatory conditions already included on the licence, Ankajan Satkunanathan proposes to include the following measures to promote the licensing objectives:

- All staff shall receive training on their responsibilities in relation to the sale of alcohol.

- The Licence Holder will ensure that there is competent staff on duty when licensable activities are being carried out at the premises.

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- A comprehensive CCTV surveillance system to be installed at the premises, footage to be retained for 31 days and made available to the police upon request.

- Emergency exits to be kept free from obstruction at all times.

- All customers shall be asked to leave the premises quietly.

- Challenge 25 age verification policy to be implemented.

Objections

But the application has been met with objections over the effect of alcohol sales in the community.

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In 2020, the Post reported that staff at the shop had placed security tags on mince and ham after being repeatedly targeted by shoplifters, and there have been a series of incidents in recent years, including staff being threatened with a knife and spat at.

Objections have been made by Lancashire Police, Councillor Matthew Brown and Councillor Nweeda Khan.

PC Stephen Connolly said: “Lancashire Constabulary believe that the grant of this application will have a detrimental impact upon the Licensing Objectives. “In addition to this our Neighbourhood Policing Team have been made aware of concerns from the community regarding alcohol sales within the area at a recent public meeting.”

Coun Matthew Brown, council leader and Plungington councillor said: “Cllr Khan and I wish to support the Police in their objection to this 24-hour license.

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"As two of the ward councillors many residents have been affected by issues related to the consumption of alcohol in recent months and years alongside the risk of underage drinking with the extended license.

"Issues relating to ASB in Plungington have got significantly worse also due to the proliferation of often smaller HMO’s which are bringing into the community many more individuals with addiction related issues often who may have served custodial sentences and may also have underlying mental health conditions.

"Unlike many of our register homeless charities this level of support is not there leading to behaviours which are detrimental to both themselves and the wider community.

"Having access to alcohol has been a major contributor to these increased trends. For these reasons alongside the public health impact of alcohol usage we support the Police in opposing this extension.”

A decision will be made at a Licensing Sub Committee meeting at 10am on Friday, December 8.