Police want Woolwich off-licence stripped of its right to sell booze after 12-year-old seen selling alcohol at shop

By Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter

Police will push for a Woolwich off-licence to be stripped of its permission to serve alcohol after a 12-year-old boy was witnessed selling booze to customers at the business.

Blessing Snacks, in Frances Street, also known as CB Food Stores, is set to have its licence reviewed at a Greenwich Council meeting on Tuesday.

It comes after police attended the premises on August 10 as part of a routine visit to check licence conditions were being adhered to.

Minor breaches were found and officers returned the following day with an “information pack” to help the shopkeeper with the responsible service of alcohol, including training logs and “Challenge 25” posters.

The licensee was absent, however, with three children instead manning the store, with one telling the visiting policemen the licensee had “popped out and would be back soon”.

Over the next 15 minutes, police witnessed the eldest child, a 12-year-old boy, make an over-the-counter sale of alcohol to an adult customer, after first talking to his mother – the licensee – on the phone to get her permission.

According to a police report, officers later spoke with the licensee – asking if she understood the condition which prohibits anyone from under 16 from being behind the counter of an off-licence.

“She stated, ‘I know’,” the report states.

“We then pointed out there were two such children currently behind the counter as we were speaking.”

The report describes the incident as a “flagrant breach” of licensing objectives, with particular concerns around the protection of children from harm.

Police have appealed to the council to revoke the licence of the business.

Greenwich’s licensing committee is set to discuss the matter at their October 13.

Pictured top: Blessing Snacks, in Frances Street, also known as CB Food Stores.


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