Council crackdown on sale of cheap booze to Luton street drinkers

Luton Town Hall
Luton Town Hall

Trading standards officers in Luton are clamping down on the sale of cheap super strength alcohol in a purge on street drinking.

Inspections of premises have also led to the discovery of illegal cigarettes and in some cases immigration-related issues.

The operation has led to several licensed premises having to appear before the borough council’s licensing committee over breaches of their conditions.

In some cases, premises have even had their licenses revoked.

Speaking after the latest hearings, council director for public protection Sarah Hall said: “The team is going to look at place-based problems, so have we got an issue with street drinking in an area and, if we have, what tools do we have at our disposal to deal with it?

“Looking at how licensed premises operate in an area where we’ve got a street drinking problem is one way in which we’re going to try and resolve that situation.

“So it’s not looking at the premises itself. It’s the effect it can have on the local area.”

The council’s trading standards team has been using a range of powers to require business owners to appear before its licensing committee and potentially face having their licence revoked.

“The outcome is always going to be at the discretion of the panel based on the evidence presented to them,” Ms Hall explained.

“We have had revocations. We have had other premises which have had conditions attached to them.

“If there are conditions imposed on a premises which should prevent the sale of super strength alcohol at less than the duty price we will return there and make sure those conditions are being complied with.

“And, if they’re not, we’ll bring those premises back in front of members for their further consideration."