A convenience store in Bournemouth has been closed for selling vapes to children and counterfeit cigarettes – causing “nuisance and disorder” in the city.
According to local reports, Kingston Market in The Triangle in Bournemouth has been handed a full three-month closure order after a multi-agency operation uncovered a host of illegal trading practices.
The shop owners never engaged with BCP Council or Dorset Police from the time of opening in November 2021 until May this year, during which time officers made numerous visits. On Aug 1, Kingston Market was issued a closure notice and a large quantity of illegal tobacco and vape products were seized.
Giving evidence at a hearing at Poole Magistrates’ Court on August 14, Trading Standards officer Andrew Crossen-White said the business also failed a test purchase when it sold a vape without checking the young buyer’s ID.
As well as the tobacco and vapes, Mr Crossen-White said intelligence suggested illegal sales of alcohol and nitrous oxide to underage customers resulted in anti-social behaviour in the area.
The parents of some of these children also informed the authorities, the court was told. No representatives from the business attended the court hearing, where a maximum three-month closure order was imposed along with an order to pay £920 in costs.
Following the hearing, councillor Andy Martin, BCP Council member for customer, communications and culture, said, “This is a hugely serious issue for us and for the community. These sales had been causing significant nuisance and disorder and impacting nearby businesses and their customers, with anti-social behaviour being caused by people who had purchased goods from the premises.
“This included groups of younger people who were buying vape products. We hope by obtaining this order, it shows we will act on issues which are having a detrimental impact on communities and reduce anti-social behaviour in our towns, using all the powers we have.”
Bournemouth town and Westbourne neighbourhood Sergeant Mark White added, “Dorset Police takes a tough approach to anti-social behaviour (ASB) – it simply will not be tolerated in our county.
“ASB is a very visible form of disruption in our communities and is closely linked to how safe people feel. When it is persistent it can have a significant impact on people’s lives. We are committed to supporting our partners during enforcement activities to show that there are consequences to this unacceptable type of behaviour.”