Closure orders have been made against three Thanet businesses following work by Thanet council’s community team in partnership with Kent County Council Trading.
After months of investigations, test purchases and disruption operations, the team sought a Closure Order under Section 80 of the ASB Crime and Disorder Act 2014. Folkestone Magistrates’ Court authorised the Closure Orders on three commercial premises due to the sale of illicit tobacco and all three shops were also directed to pay court costs.
The premises are:
Al Madinah, 106 Northdown Road, Cliftonville
International Mini Market, 200a Northdown Road, Cliftonville
King Street Retail, King Street, Ramsgate.
These properties had previously been closed for selling illicit tobacco and reopened in August 2021 after a 3 month court-ordered Closure Order. Test purchases carried out by Trading Standards showed that they had continued their previous illegal sales.
The Closure Orders prohibit anyone entering the premises and will be in place until Saturday 14 May. Thanet District Council Community Team and KCC Trading standards will continue operations across the district to stop the sale of illicit tobacco.
Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Youth Engagement, said: “Along with our partner agencies, we are committed to the fight against cheap and illicit tobacco. These closures should send a strong message to businesses not cooperating with authorities when it comes to making our district a better place to live. Illegal tobacco is not a victimless crime – it harms legitimate businesses and society in general due to tax not being paid, facilitates the supply of tobacco to underage people and supports organised criminal networks.
“I would like to thank all of the partners for their hard work on this operation as well as members of the public for reporting illegal sales. I encourage everyone to continue to do this and help reduce the harm caused by tobacco in our communities.”
To report a trader selling cheap and illicit tobacco contact the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 6 999 or report it anonymously at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk
You can report any anti-social behaviour, including the sale of illicit tobacco, to the council’s Community Team on [email protected]