Mitcham shop loses alcohol license after serving minors

A Mitcham shop formally surrendered its alcohol license yesterday after an investigation found it was selling alcohol to minors.

The Metropolitan Police also found evidence that Ronnie’s Cutter, an off-license on Upper Green East, had been employing illegal immigrants and allowing children to sell alcohol unsupervised.

The police said it had previously attended a stabbing immediately outside of the convenience shop, where the alleged perpetrator was then seen to enter the store after licensed hours.

Geraldine Stanford, Figges Marsh ward councillor, said: “Quite frankly, we have an issue in Mitcham town centre with the amount of alcohol outlets there are, it’s a target area for street drinkers and people using the betting shops.

“Enough is enough, we can’t agree to the license being renewed.”

The retailer was caught out when a 15-year-old working with Trading Standards bought a bottle of Guinness in March.

The shop, formerly a Costcutter’s, did not ask them for proof of age and did not question the sale.

In representations to the council’s licensing committee, Dr. Rooah Omer, of Public Health Merton, said: “The premises have failed to display that they are a responsible retailer and have participated and facilitated numerous unlawful engagements.

“We believe that the licensed premises are not running at a level where they can prevent crime and disorder, assure public safety, prevent public nuisance and protect children from harm.”

Figges Marsh is the worst ward in the borough for gun, knife and weapon injuries according to council figures.

The area, which includes Mitcham town centre, also has a higher hospital admissions ratio for alcohol related harm than the borough and London averages.

In an email to council officials, Ronak Patel, who owns the business said: “Due to the recent events that have taken place at the premises, regrettably, with sadness, I hereby am surrendering the above premise licence.”

However, Mr Patel asked Merton council’s licensing body to keep in mind his “very good” sixteen-year record as license holder and said he hoped to work with the council in future.

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