Licence revoked for shop that used remote-powered stash cupboards

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A shop which used sophisticated electronically-powered compartments to stash illegal products has had its alcohol licence revoked.

New Market Aro on Featherstone’s Station Lane was discussed during Wakefield Council’s licensing sub-committee on Friday.

It came after West Yorkshire’s Trading Standards and police raised concerns over the conduct of the shop over the past four years.

This included officers finding secret stashes of illegal cigarettes and tobacco and age-related products being sold to children.

In May last year a hydraulic compartment was found within the wall above a door between the store room and toilet, which was opened using a remote-controlled fob.

It lowered the top of the door frame down to reveal the fake products.

A letter from West Yorkshire trading Standards’ David Clutterbrook, reads: “The creation of these elaborate concealments demonstrates the business’ total disregard for the law.

“Trading Standards felt this business is determined to carry out illegal activity on its premises and does not have the inclination to prevent crime or disorder or protect children from harm.

Therefore there are serious concerns regarding its ability to meet the licensing objectives.”

This was supported by the police who found multiple licensed breaches during a day of action in October last year. The licensing sub-committee decided that the premises should be stripped of its licence.