Posted: Wed 22nd May 2024

Wrexham convenience store and off licence closed down for three months for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A Wrexham convenience store and off licence has been closed down for three months.

The Wrexham Magistrates Court issued a court order closing the retail shop Wrexham Lifestyle at 106 Rhosddu Road until 16 August 2024.

The application for the order was made by Trading Standards Officers from the Council’s Public Protection Service following a history of the supply of illegal vaping products, illegal tobacco and the sale of alcohol at prices below the minimum unit price by “Wrexham Lifestyle” who had been trading at the address.

Test purchases and seizures of illegal products have been made over the past several years.

Officers have engaged on numerous occasions with the business to advise and warn with regard to illegal products and alcohol pricing.

Despite this, recent test purchases of vapes show that the sale of illegal product continued.

On the same day the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) for the Off Licence at Wrexham Lifestyle was prosecuted by the Authority for failing to make available CCTV recordings as required by the licence conditions.

Rebar Mahmood pleaded not guilty but was found guilty by the magistrates and fined a total of £1702.

This action was taken by Licensing officers in Public Protection following inspection visits where the DPS was unable to provide access to CCTV records despite advice and warnings.

Vaping has increased in popularity over the past ten years and is widely recognised as an effective way to quit smoking tobacco.

However, more recently there has been an explosion of interest in disposable vapes with people who have never smoked trying them out.

It is illegal to sell vape products to under 18s but in spite of this vapes have proved to be popular with young people and many of the products available are child appealing with sweet flavours and brightly coloured packaging.

Some illegal products have even used the names of well known sweets to promote them.

Although much less harmful than smoking tobacco, using vapes is not risk free.

For that reason the law imposes specific restrictions on disposable vapes with a maximum capacity and a maximum nicotine strength.

There are also strict labelling requirements. Illegal vapes of the kind found at Wrexham Lifestyle were found to breach these restrictions presenting a significant potential threat to the health of people using them.

Lead Member for Public Protection, Councillor Hugh Jones said, “The rapid rise in the use of vapes by people who have never smoked and their use by children is very concerning and it is good to see that UK and Welsh Government are actively considering new legislation to tackle the problem.

“The sale of illegal products and under priced alcohol in our community is of particular concern and we will not hesitate to use the legal powers we have to protect the health and wellbeing of our young people.

“I welcome the result of this action with the very practical impact of closing the premises for a considerable period of time.”

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