A SHOP in Merthyr Tydfil could be having its licence reviewed after selling cigarettes to someone under 16.
The Trading Post on Galon Uchaf Road sold 20 Mayfair cigarettes to a 15 year old during a test purchase by trading standards in August 2022, a council committee report said.
On April 21, 2023 Karalasingam Pirathapan pleaded guilty to an offence under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 section 7 (1) at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court and was fined £500, ordered to pay £480 in costs and a £200 victim surcharge.
A Merthyr Tydfil Council statutory licensing committee meeting on Thursday, September 7 will now consider an application to review the premises licence.
The application from trading standards says that it is their opinion that The Trading Post does not have sufficient and robust procedures in place to protect children from harm and stop them from obtaining age restricted goods from the premises.
Trading Standards believe it is appropriate to request a review of this licence and is asking the committee to consider amendments to the conditions to ensure that robust and sufficient procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of further sales of age restricted goods to those under age taking place in the future and to take any other action it feels appropriate.
The application said that Karalasingam Pirathapan has been found to “have little control or knowledge of the training that staff working at his premises have received.”
It also says he and his supervisor train staff between them but with no records it’s unclear who has or has not been trained and by who.
It says a refusals book was provided but there were only seven entries in the six months before the sale and the sale of the cigarettes on August 11, 2022 had not made a single refusal in a year before the sale.
The recommended conditions include the display of appropriate warning signs saying anyone appearing to be under 25 will be subject to challenge relating to age restricted goods, everyone who appears to be under 25 will be required to produce an acceptable form of ID each time they visit and the only acceptable forms of ID include a passport, photo driving licence of PASS accredited proof of age.
They also include all staff and casual workers receiving induction training for under age sales, the challenge 25 scheme and acceptable forms of identification and this would be documented, signed and dated by the individual staff member the trainer with a written record to be retained at the premises and made available to local authority authorised officers, police and other authorised officers on request and retained for a minimum of two years.
All staff would receive refresher training every six months for under age sales, the challenge 25 scheme and acceptable forms of identification and this would also be documented, signed and dated by the individual staff member the trainer with a written record to be retained at the premises and made available to local authority authorised officers, police and other authorised officers on request and retained for a minimum of two years.
The suggested conditions also say that all staff are to record incidents of refusal of sale to people who appear to be under age in the form of a “refusals register” which is to be retained at the premises and be made available to local authority authorised officers, police and other authorised officers upon request for inspection. The refusals register is to be checked and signed by the DPS (designated premises supervisor) or supervisor on a weekly basis.
The application said “it is not envisaged that the suggested conditions are onerous, costly or unreasonable for the Premises Licence Holder to implement and proportionate to the sale of cigarettes to a 15 year old test purchaser by a person who it appears received no training at all.”
Trading Standards recommend that the addition of these conditions would help to reduce the likelihood of future under age sales taking place.
An officer said that on behalf of children’s services they would fully support licensing in their judgement that The Trading Post doesn’t have sufficient and robust procedures in place to safeguard children and young people and they support trading standards in their request for a review and the conditions laid out.
Karalasingham Pirathapan applied to transfer the premises licence for The Trading Post into his name on June 17, 2013, the committee report said.
The transfer of the licence was granted and was subject to the previous conditions placed on the licence.