Applications have been granted for Spalding’s Winsover Off Licence despite a licensing panel concluding “there is clear evidence of criminality taking place” at the premises.
Police objected to the transfer of the premises licence to Karwan Ahmad and a variation of the premises licence to specify Mr Ahmad as the designated premises supervisor (DPS).
Police presented evidence of illegal cigarettes being sold at the off licence – 43 Winsover Road – in November and of illegal cigarettes stored in a van parked behind the premises on December 2, when officers found the van keys inside the shop.
Sgt Kim Enderby outlined links to nearby premises where illegal cigarettes were uncovered in sophisticated, electronic hides.
But Paul Byatt, of Licensed-Inn-Tution, told Thursday’s hearing Mr Ahmad hadn’t taken control of 43 Winsover Road until he applied for the premises licence on December 28.
Granting both of Mr Ahmad’s applications, the panel said: “There is clear evidence of criminality taking place at the premises, however it was not the role of the panel at this hearing to determine who was responsible for that criminal activity.”
By granting the applications, the panel said it was ensuring Mr Ahmad “will be responsible for the premises and the emphasis will be upon him to ensure that in the future these premises are promoting the crime prevention objective”.
The panel continued: “Mr Ahmad, through his representative today, appreciates that the premises will continue to be monitored and any further problems will be seen to be his responsibility. This would better promote the licensing objective, ‘prevention of crime and disorder’, than allowing the licence to remain in the name of the previous licence holder.”
• The panel said there is to be a review hearing shortly in respect of the premises licence and nothing in its decisions should be “seen to influence that decision and should not be viewed as an endorsement of the applicant”.