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Whippendale Food & Wine up for licence review again
A "rogue" West Watford off-licence was caught selling vodka to a minor and super-strength lager against council rules just months after regaining permission to sell alcohol.
Police want Whippendale Food & Wine stripped of its licence saying it is "putting profit above all else" after it failed a string of test purchases.
The latest problems come after the store, in Whippendell Road, had its licence reinstated in November despite opposition from Hertfordshire Constabulary.
Watford Borough Council had initially stripped the shop, formerly known as DKSR, in 2010 after police presented evidence an "appalling catalogue" of breaches, including selling to minors and drunks.
In a report to Watford Borough Council, Police Sergeant Marie White said at the time the store had become "notorious" in the area for its alcohol-selling activities.
She said: "The breaches included multiple cases of selling alcohol beyond permitted hours, selling alcohol to children and selling alcohol to drunks.
"The venue became a magnet for street drinkers who wanted to obtain alcohol."
At the time the shop was stripped of its licence, the designated premises supervisor was Mr Sundralingam Srithas and in the intervening years his wife and daughter had made failed bids for a new licence.
On November 6 Mr Srithas’ daughter Mounisha Srithas made a successful application for an alcohol licence, but councillors imposed a number of strict conditions on the shop.
Among the conditions was that the shop did not sell single cans and bottles, to discourage street drinkers.
Police Sergeant White said 10 days after the shop regained its licence, it failed a test purchase when Special Police Sergeant Richard Jennings bought a single can of Stella Artois.
Over the coming weeks, police and licensing officers successfully bought single cans and bottles of alcohol in the shop three times.
Then in December a 15-year-old working for the police managed to by a quarter bottle of vodka from Whippendale Food & Wine.
The report also said CCTV footage showed staff at the shop serving customers super strength 9 per cent lager from a "stash" under the counter. This breached a requirement that the shop no beer, lager or cider over 5.5 per cent.
As a result Police Sergeant White said Hertfordshire Constabulary was seeking a full revocation of the shop’s licence.
She said: "This family seem to be putting profit above all else and are quite willing to sell alcohol to anyone who has the means to pay.
"The constabulary cannot stand by and let the obvious breaches continue.
"The constabulary has a duty of care to all residents in the area and as such one rogue venue cannot be allowed to continue trading as it is absolutely clear that no conditions will have any effect on how they carry out daily activity."
The council's licensing sub committee is due to review the store's licence on Wednesday.