ROBIN’S NEST: Fenland Inspector Sissons sends ‘strong message’ to Wisbech’s licensed premises

In his regular column, Fenland Inspector Robin Sissons reflects on the decision to revoke the premises licence of Wisbech Mini Market.

I enjoy a beer as much as the next person and it would seem that there are many like-minded people living in Wisbech.

Would you believe me if I told you that Wisbech Town centre has one of the highest concentration of license premises per square mile in Cambridgeshire?

This has little impact on my police officers if they are all run to the appropriate standard. However, when they start to cut corners and ignore procedures then they can have a huge impact on crime and ASB levels.

This is why my team and I come down hard on the ones that are not making the grade; and if we can’t do it then we work with partners who can.

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A great demonstration of this is Wisbech Mini Market which sits in the heart of Wisbech Town.

Last year, we conducted joint enforcement visits with Trading Standards where they were found to be selling counterfeit spirits.

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Items were seized and when examined they were found to contain all sorts of nasty substances. I often watch these things happen on the television but I never thought it would happen in a town that I policed.

The story goes on. Another joint visit was done and again more items seized and so a review on their licence was called.

This hearing took place last week which involved my officers giving evidence alongside Trading Standards officers. The panel decided that there was sufficient evidence to justify revoking the licence.

However I am afraid it isn’t the end. We are now in an appeal period (29 days) where the owners have to decide what to do next. They can either accept the verdict and surrender their licence or go to the Magistrates’ Court.

Either way I will be happy as it will mean the premises will have to improve their working practices or it will not be able to sell alcohol at all.

Finally, it also gives out a strong message to all licence premises throughout Fenland – being able to sell alcohol is a privilege and one that demands that you act in a responsible manner.

If you fail to do this then we will be knocking on your door.

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