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Off-licence blames council

PUBLISHED: 11:27 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:07 11 August 2010

AN off-licence banned from selling alcohol twice in a year says council chiefs make an example of traders bullied into selling alcohol to children. Bennetts convenience store in Dagenham suggests council enforcement officers were turning a blind eye to te

AN off-licence banned from selling alcohol twice in a year says council chiefs make an example of traders bullied into selling alcohol to children.

Bennetts convenience store in Dagenham suggests council enforcement officers were turning a blind eye to teenage yobs who put pressure on shops to sell them alcohol without ID.

Store manager Ruben Yodan says local authorities, turn their fire on traders through test purchase clampdowns, but fail to crack down on youths or parents who went to shops with their children to buy alcohol.

Mr Yodan, 29, said: "They should take action against the kids or the parents. They buy drink and tobacco for the parents as well. This is a big problem. And the parents buy for the kids.

"When we ask for ID, we get a lot of problems. We have lots of arguments over this, especially with school kids and the over-18 as well. We tell the council and the council always look for shopkeepers."

The store's licence for Bennett's Castle Lane has been suspended for three months after cashier Thaya Rajathurai sold alcohol to a 15-year-old girl in a council operation on August 29. He also sold alcohol to a minor in April 2008.

The store sacked a cashier who had poor English language skills, and says the two failed purchases and one in December 2008 were down to naivety and negligence.

It lost its licence for a month in March and was told to use CCTV, train staff and label alcoholic drinks with its name.


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