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Community Protection Notice results in shop closing

Not responding to a Community Protection Warning letter has resulted in a local shop being closed down.

Camden Groceries, in Royal Tunbridge Wells was served with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) by Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Unit on Monday 25 November after failing to act on an earlier warning. The CPN was served on both the business owner and a staff member.

Previous the shop, known by some locally as the Red Shop, had been warned about illegal tobacco sales after reports that they were selling counterfeit and untaxed cigarettes (without paying UK Excise Duty), and were selling to underage young people.

The shop’s landlord was informed about the Notice and on Tuesday 5 December evicted the business.

Councillor Carol Mackonochie, Communities and Wellbeing portfolio holder said:

‘Police and council officers from the Community Safety Unit have been monitoring several businesses suspected of selling counterfeit cigarettes or of avoiding Excise Duty on sales and I am pleased that their hard work has paid off in this case. The CPN is a victory for the town’s legitimate retailers who may be losing trade as a result.

‘All smoking is harmful and a report last year said that fake cigarettes can contain arsenic, pesticides and rat poison. It’s very worrying to think that our young people could get hooked on smoking in this way.’

A Community Protection Notice (CPN) is issued under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Notice is designed to stop a person, a business or an organisation committing anti-social behaviour, that is, persistent and unreasonable behaviour that is having a detrimental effect on the local community's quality of life. A CPN can only be issued after a written warning stating that if certain behaviour doesn’t cease a Notice will be issued.

CPNs can be appealed in the Magistrates’ Court. Failure to comply with a CPN may result in a fine or fixed penalty notice.

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