Alleyway by Normanton shop Polski Slep is 'drug-taking hotspot', booze licence objectors claim

Drug-taking and anti-social behaviour are rife outside a high street shop where an illicit tobacco stash was found last year, it's been claimed.

Friday, 26th June 2020, 4:45 pm

Polski Slep, in Normanton, lost its booze licence in March after 4,000 illegal cigarettes, shipped in from overseas, were discovered under the counter.An enforcement officer branded the store "the worst I've done in 13 years", in a comment on its failure to comply with the law.

Now the premises has asked for permission to sell alcohol again, but faces opposition from the police and Normanton Town Council, which claims a snicket running alongside the store is a "hotspot" for problems.

A decision will be made by a panel on whether or not to approve a new licence for Polski Slep next month.

Polski Slep, on High Street in Normanton, was stripped of its premises licence, which permits to sell alcohol, in March.
Polski Slep, on High Street in Normanton, was stripped of its premises licence, which permits to sell alcohol, in March.

In a letter submitted ahead of the hearing, town council clerk Donna Johnston said members had "serious reservations" about the store's request.

She wrote: "The applicant has shown a lack or regard for our community and the granting of an alcohol licence could lead to further issues.

"The councillors feel that there are plenty of other places where people can purchase alcohol for consumption off the premises.

"The alleyway to the side of this shop has already been a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, drinking and drug use and the sale of alcohol at this premises could exacerbate this problem further."

Around 4,000 illicit cigarettes were found at Polski Slep by the authorities at the end of last year.

In his application form submitted to the council, 26 year-old Mateusz Skibinski, outlined how he would ensure Polski Slep complied with the law.

"Any incidents of a criminal nature that may occur on the premises will be reported to the police," he wrote.

"The licensee will install comprehensive CCTV coverage at the premises and it is operated and maintained at the premises."

The form also said customers would be asked to leave quietly out of "regard" for neighbours and that a Challenge 25 ID policy would be in place.

But the police and council officers have also objected to the store getting a new licence.

In papers released ahead of the hearing, enforcement officer Paul Dean said Mr Skibinski's wife had been involved in selling counterfeit cigarettes last year and that there were concerns he would be a "front" for the previous licence holders.

However, the papers suggested Mr Skibinski claimed "his wife had very little to do with the illegal sales and was forced to sell the products on behalf of the previous licence holder".

The hearing, which will be held remotely, takes place on Monday, July 6.

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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