Scam store allowed to sell alcohol despite anti-social behavior issues

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A store was allowed to operate without a license despite objections from residents over anti-social behavior.

Durham County Council has been asked to license the Crook Convenience Store on North Terrace, Crook to sell alcohol between 7am and 11.30pm daily.

Owner Ravichandran Sivaguru, of Your Local Food and Wine Ltd, applied for the license saying there would be 24-hour CCTV monitoring and recordings, crime prevention notices, well-trained staff and “prevention overpopulation”.

The app said there would be “no bullying allowed on the premises”, “playing/recording music” or “suspicious activity and concerns about possible sexual harassment”.

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Council received two objections from local residents.

One said: “My street is already suffering from anti-social behavior such as damage to cars, litter on the streets and very loud passers-by, as well as dog poo that is not picked up.

“If a shop has to open the times offered it will amplify all of that. We are already seeing teenagers acting anti-socially littering, swearing, damaging the grassed areas outside the DCC (Durham County Council) building and throwing eggs and breaking windows.They will now move outside of this shop.

“There’s a daycare next door…if people can buy booze from 7am to 11.30am, little kids will see drunk people as well as people who swear a lot and litter.

“Why do we need another store with more places to sell alcohol in a small town? I don’t understand why we have problems with young people causing havoc and the police only have little to no crime-fighting powers here.”

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The other said: “I don’t think selling alcohol from 7am is a good example of parents and toddlers waiting outside to take their children to nursery and pick them up.

“The city already suffers from anti-social behavior that has been going on for years. Part of that is fueled by alcohol.

“For the past two years local children’s play parks have been littered with empty beer cans and bottles, it was down to young people and some of them being escorted home by the police.

“Young people also harass the elderly and vulnerable asking them to buy them drinks when they go to the shops. This is why many pensioners do not go to the city center at night because they feel threatened.

“I fear this will only compound the problems we are suffering in our city.

“It’s just going to lead to another outlet where young people can try to get booze and bully buyers into buying it for them.”

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After mediation with the Durham Police Approved Economy Team, the applicant added conditions to the license application.

The new requirements included comprehensive training for recorded staff, the Challenge 25 program with a denial log, an incident log, and the installation of a CCTV system covering all public areas retaining recordings for at least 28 days.

The council’s Environmental Health and Planning Department and County Durham Fire and Rescue Service did not oppose the application.

The request was reviewed at a Licensing Subcommittee meeting at County Hall.

It was granted with the conditions that were negotiated with the police.

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