A Nottingham shop behind the sale of almost £35,000 of illegal tobacco has been ordered to close for three months by Nottingham City Magistrates.
The outcome at court today – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – could see other shops dealing in illegal tobacco closed down through action by the City Council.
The closure notice served on Nottingham Mini Market on Radford Road, Nottingham, follows five years of enforcement action by Nottingham City Council Trading Standards Service. This includes one prosecution (three pending), one formal caution and a warning notice for the sale and supply of illegal tobacco products. Trading Standards have seized a total of 5,974 packets of cigarettes and 954 packets of hand rolling tobacco over this period. Based on a street value of £5 per packet, this equates to £34,640 of goods.
This latest enforcement action brought by the City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team is the first of its kind in relation to a shop in the city.
Chief Licensing, Trading Standards and Anti-Social Behaviour Officer, Richard Antcliff, said the outcome paves the way for other premises dealing in illegal tobacco to be closed down.
“We see this as a landmark decision by the court which gives us the opportunity to use closure powers on other premises involved in the sale of illegal tobacco products.
“The message to those engaged in this this criminal activity is clear – if you continue, it is highly probably that we will close you down.”
Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, Cllr Toby Neal, said: “We have tried to stop this shop being used to supply illegal tobacco products over the years by taking enforcement action against individuals connected to the business over the years.
“This has not been successful so this more drastic tactic has been taken by combining the resources of two City Council services. We will be continuing to use this tactic against any premises that are involved in the long-term supply/sale of illegal tobacco products.”
If you have information in relation to the sale/supply of illegal tobacco products you can report them anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.