Off-licences ‘target hostel residents with high-strength booze’
Shops could lose their licences after claims 'products are intentionally stocked' for men with mental health needs
14 June, 2019 — By Calum Fraser
Silver Star supermarket in New North Road
TWO off-licence shops have been accused of “targeting” care home residents with high-strength alcohol and running a “tab” for men with mental health needs.
The Silver Star Supermarket and the B and B Convenience Store, both in New North Road, Islington, could lose their licences next week after complaints were made against them by managers at St Martins of Tours House.
A report, which will be heard at a licensing committee meeting on Tuesday, says that “products are intentionally stocked in the store to target residents of St Martin.”
Council community safety officer Peter Cook says in the report: “I have heard complaints from this hostel (St Martins of Tours) about the two off-licences closest to it, Silver Star and B and B. Hostel manager James Crockhart has told me that one of the off-licences has run a tab for service users of the hostel and sells strong lager.”
Police have received a series of reports of nearby residents complaining about men congregating in Wilton Square being “aggressive”, “drunk”, “urinating and taking drugs”.
PC Beta Cauwenbergh has written: “The location of the venue [Silver Star] is within close proximity of St Martins of Tours House, which is a care home for adult men with complex mental health needs, so the sale of alcohol needs to be adequately managed to ensure it is not being sold to vulnerable people. Something which we believe it is currently not.”
Council officers also found that a 15-year-old was sold booze in one of the stores when undercover agents were sent in to test whether the shopkeepers ask for ID.
The licensing authority recommended revocation of the licence. The owner of the stores was contacted for comment but did not respond.