Police seek to revoke Halifax shop licence after illicit tobacco bust

Ovenden Polski Sklep and neighbouring shop.
Ovenden Polski Sklep and neighbouring shop.

Police have asked for a Halifax mini-market’s premises licence to be revoked following an illicit tobacco bust.

Calderdale Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee will consider the request from West Yorkshire Polce to review the club premises certificate for the Ovenden Polski Sklep, Ovenden Road, Halifax, next Tuesday, May 15, at Halifax Town Hall.

The shop’s licensable activities are the retail sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises, and the committee can make decisions up to and including revoking the licence.

West Yorkshire Police are requesting the review following a joint operation between the police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards on March 8, when, says the report, a “substantial amount of counterfeit/illegal tobacco was discovered on the premises and the disused premises next door.”

The report goes on: “West Yorkshire Police Application for review states that all four licensing objectives are undermined by this evidence and are requesting that the premises licence is therefore revoked.”

Under the Licensing Act 2003 the sub-committee, in determining the application, has to have regard to its four objectives – prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.

Ovdenden Polski Sklep was first licensed on December 27, 2013, and since its grant there have been no issues brought to the licensing authority until this matter, and the authority – the council – has received no representations from local residents.

The licence is held by Suliman Seiedi.

Councillors will be asked to first consider whether action under its statutory powers are appropriate to promote licensing objectives or whether no further steps are required.

If they do consider action is appropriate, they may choose to either modify the licence’s conditions, exclude a licensable activity from the scope of the licence, remove the designated premises supervisor if members consider the problems result from poor management or revoke the licence.

Any action must be no more than “an appropriate and proportional response”, says the report.

Mr Seiedi has been asked for comment via the store.