Shops may lose alcohol licences
Three shops could lose their alcohol licences for up to three months after they were twice caught selling wine and spirits to children.
The shops, including a Tesco store, will appear before a panel of Leicester city councillors next week to explain what action they have taken since they failed two police sting operations. Tesco, in Ryder Road, Braunstone Frith, Qwik News, in Home Farm Square, Beaumont Leys, and The Off-Licence, in Knighton Fields Road East, West Knighton, are accused of failing two police test purchase operations in March and November last year.
Police have indicated they will ask for each shop's licence to sell alcohol to be suspended temporarily so they can "put their houses in order".
All three shops will have the opportunity to tell their sides of the story to a group of city councillors during hearings at Leicester Town Hall on Thursday.
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In each case, the staff member who made the sale was fined £80.
Pc Tejas Mavani, of the city police licensing unit, said: "When we have shops failing two test purchases in a year, we always ask for a review of their licences. We take the sale of alcohol to young people very seriously. We can seek conditions which will help them address those failures.
"The city council can suspend the licence for a maximum of three months, giving the shops time to put their houses in order."
Members of the licensing hearing can impose other conditions on the shops to prevent illegal sales happening again, including improved staff training and the installation of CCTV.
Staff at Tesco are said to have sold a bottle of wine to two young women, aged 15 and 16.
The store has passed a number of previous police operations.
Staff at Qwick News and The Off-Licence failed test purchase stings by selling wine, vodka and brandy to under-18s.
Police have also indicated they will ask the licensing committee to impose a number of conditions on the two shops, including requirements to improve staff training and to label bottles and cans of alcohol with stickers bearing the shop's name.
The Mercury was unable to contact the three shops concerned for a comment.