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Politics Swansea West Wales

New store in central Swansea will be able to sell alcohol until 2am despite police concerns

The new Premier store is coming to the former Uplands Computer shop on Dillwyn Street, Swansea (Pic: Richard Youle)

A NEW Premier store coming to central Swansea will be able to sell alcohol until 2am every day despite concerns from police.

But it won’t be able to sell single cans over 6.5% alcohol strength, ruling out some strong ciders and lagers. And door staff will need to be on duty at the Dillwyn Street store – where Uplands Computers was based – from 11pm to 2am.

A Swansea Council licensing sub-committee meeting heard from the husband of the applicant for the Premier store premises licence, their agent, a South Wales Police representative, and a council licensing officer.

PC Nicola Evans, on behalf of police, requested an 11pm rather than 2am closing time in order to address what she said was an “unprecedented” number of anti-social behaviour incidents in that part of the city.

She said police had set up a team specifically to deal with the area in question, where alcohol-related public disorder, theft, begging and fighting had become problematic. Some of those involved, she said, slept, urinated and defecated in the doorways of businesses.

“The team has gone a long way to tackling these problems for the surrounding premises – however there is still street drinking from persons who are alcohol-dependent, which in turn obviously creates problems,” she said.

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PC Evans said police didn’t object to the new Premier store, but felt that serving alcohol until 2am would be a “step backwards”.

The agent for applicant Esther Sakilan said he appreciated the police’s concerns and that his client acknowledged the responsibility that came with a premises licence. He said he was confident the new store could be run effectively and that it aimed to contribute positively to the local area by implementing various measures, including the use of trained door staff from 11pm to 2am and working in full collaboration with police and the council.

“We firmly believe that maintaining a closing time of 2am aligns with the changing dynamics of the city centre, providing residents and visitors with additional services during the late hours,” he said.

The applicant’s husband said he had another convenience store in Swansea and two in Port Talbot and that they hadn’t experienced any trouble, although they closed at 11pm.

PC Evans said her concern was that door staff might be able to move people on from the Dillwyn Street store and the pavement outside but that this could shift potential disorder issues nearby.

Councillors on the sub-committee put questions to the agent, retired to consider the evidence, and then decided to grant the 2am premises licence subject to 13 conditions. These include the ban on individual can sales of over 6.5% strength, a requirement for door staff between 11pm and 2am, and a log detailing all occasions when sales of alcohol were refused. The store will be open from 7am to 2pm seven days a week.

Uplands Computers, where the Premier store will be, is now a collection and return business and doesn’t have a shop.