Derby retailer ‘unfairly singled out’ by high-ABV booze police

A shop owner from Derby says he has been forced to stop selling high-strength alcohol after police contacted Derby City Council to request changes to his licence. 

Satnam Singh Chaira of Friargate News accuses the police  of “harassment”, and says the ruling is unfair and damaging his business.

The decision is unfair as it only applies to my shop and not others in the area. 
Satnam Chaira, Derby

“Eight years ago, police started coming into my shop telling me to stop selling strong booze,” said Mr Chaira. 

“They kept on harassing me, blaming my shop for anti-social behaviour. 

“In the end, there was a council sub-committee hearing and I was ordered to stop selling any alcohol above 5.9% volume.

“The decision is unfair as it only applies to my shop and not others in the area,” he continued. “If it was the entire area, then I would sign up to that, but I feel like I’ve been unfairly singled out.

“It would be different if things had improved, but the drinkers are still hanging around the area, so they are getting it from somewhere.”

In its original March 2013 ruling, Derby City Council stated: “The application [for new licence conditions] was made by Derbyshire Constabulary. Since 2006, there had been issues surrounding the presence of street drinkers and disorder caused by persons within the area where Friargate News is situated. 

“The sub-committee found there [was] a causal link between the sale of alcohol from the premises and the disorder which then takes place within the immediate vicinity. 

“The sub-committee was satisfied the imposition of conditions upon the premises licence was appropriate to uphold the licensing objectives of crime and disorder and the prevention of public nuisance.”

Speaking to Retail Express this week, a spokesman for Derby City Council warned: “Retailers who sell alcohol must be aware of this process.”

Mr Chaira lodged an appeal against the decision in November 2013, but the original ruling was upheld.


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