A corner shop in Louth in Lincolnshire has been ordered to close after evidence was found that the store was selling illicit cigarettes and vapes.
Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police had worked together to gather evidence of the sale of illicit cigarettes and vapes, including test purchases and raids at the shop, where both illegal vapes and cigarettes were seized.
A police spokesman confirmed that, on the balance of probabilities, that criminal behaviour had taken place at the premises, and the order was necessary to prevent that behaviour from continuing. Inspector Ian Cotton said that the order means the premises will be closed for three months, the maximum that legislation allows.
“Community intelligence was vital in securing the evidence for this closure order,” he said, “Our Neighbourhood Policing Team work closely with Lincolnshire Trading Standards and our Licensing Team to close these types of premises. This I hope this addresses the concern members of our community have held about the premises.”
Andy Wright, Principle Trading Standards Officer, said, “We are aware of the local community’s concerns and have sought to end illegal activity at the premises. Trading Standards and Police Officers have conducted.
“The maximum closure term of three months shows the seriousness with which the court viewed the issue. Many of the illegal vapes seized are in child-appealing flavours. This added additional concern that such goods might be made available to those under 18, making action at this premises a priority.
“Those operating the business are under active criminal investigation by my officers. Unfortunately, the maximum closure period allowed under the law is just three months; however, should the business re-open and continue to trade in a similar way, we will not hesitate to close the premises again immediately.”
The public have been thanked for their help and support in this case.