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King's Lynn shop licencing bid 'seeks to enhance criminal activity', police claim

Police have claimed that a Lynn shop's bid for an alcohol sales licence is no more than an attempt to "enhance" a criminal operation.

West Norfolk councillors will consider an application relating to the Vilnius premises in London Road at a licensing hearing next week.

But papers published ahead of that meeting show that both Norfolk Police and the county's Trading Standards unit are opposing the plan.

West Norfolk Council's Lynn headquarters.
West Norfolk Council's Lynn headquarters.

The proposal, if approved, would grant the shop a licence to sell alcohol seven days a week, between 8am and 11pm each day.

The applicant insists that products which do not comply with UK regulations will not be stored or sold from the premises.

He also maintains that any suspicious items would be reported to the authorities.

Specific evidence supporting the opposition of the police and Trading Standards has been redacted from the reports released by West Norfolk Council.

But the documents show police saying they "assert this application is an attempt to enhance the criminal operation" at the site and would undermine crime and disorder licensing objectives as a result.

Meanwhile, Trading Standards officers said they were concerned about the potential supply of illegal tobacco products from the shop.

Their letter said: "We are aware that in many cases retail outlets are controlled by individual(s) who remain well in the background and put in place other persons to manage the supply of illegal tobacco from the shop.

"It is our concern that the applicant is the next one in line in this process."

The licensing hearing will take place next Thursday, July 16, at 11am, via Zoom and will be broadcast via the borough council's YouTube channel.

A three-member panel will consider the application and decide whether it should be approved or not.

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