Published on January 31st, 2011 | by Dean Carr
Police call for shop alcohol review
Police want an off-licence near a hostel for the homeless to be banned from selling strong lagers and ciders.
Officers are concerned alcohol being sold by Mace, in London Road, Leicester, is contributing to disorder and nuisance behaviour caused by alcoholic street drinkers in the area around the Dawn Centre.
They have applied for a review of its licence after an incident in which they said a member of staff poured vodka into a fruit juice carton for one of the Dawn Centre residents.
On Thursday, members of Leicester City Council’s licensing committee will discuss the police application. Police licensing Sergeant Sean Moore said in a report: “Some of the residents are of the street drinking fraternity and have serious alcohol problems.
“Their conduct is the cause of complaints to police concerning anti-social behaviour.
“The problems associated with these people is not limited to this particular off-licence.
“Experience shows they have a preference for cheap, high-strength, alcoholic drinks
“On September 16, 2010, an incident occurred at the premises which was witnessed by Gary Freestone, who was managing the Dawn Centre at the time.
“He saw a member of staff pouring vodka into an open carton of fruit juice and selling it to one of his residents.”
Sgt Moore said licence holder Harry Amlani later met police and admitted what had happened, saying he had done it so other street drinkers would not steal the woman’s alcohol.
He said Mr Amlani said he had stopped doing this when he was told it was against the law.
The police are now asking his licence has a condition banning the sale of beer, lager and cider of more than 5.5 per cent in strength.
They want drink to be sold only in sealed containers showing the alcoholic content and with the name of the store.
Ward councillor Patrick Kitterick backed the police move.
He said: “The availability of high-strength, cheap drink is the cause of a lot of the problems residents face.
“We are not talking about stuff for the discerning wine connoisseur.
“This is stuff is designed to get you drunk quickly and we should be doing whatever we can to get it off the shelves.”
Vipul Thanki, designated premises supervisor at Mace, said he knew the Dawn Centre resident should not have been sold the vodka the way she was.
He said: “We were just trying to help out the old lady so she didn’t get robbed and have her drink stolen but we don’t do that anymore.”
Nobody from the Dawn Centre, in Conduit Street, was available to comment.
Source : This is leicestershire