Anti-social’ shop closed after illegal cigarette raids

Anti-social' shop closed after illegal cigarette raids

The Council had issued a warning to Camden Groceries in Camden Road last month following a number of raids that found fake and untaxed cigarettes on the premises.

The shop owners had ignored warnings from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council [TWBC], which also issued the business a Community Protection Notice [CPN] issued under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.

The shop’s landlord was informed about the Notice and on Tuesday, December 3, decided to evict the business.

The shop, known by some locally as the Red Shop, had not only been caught trading in illegal tobacco sales, but also councillors had heard reports that they were selling cigarettes to underage young people.

Cllr Carol Mackonochie, Cabinet member for Communities and Wellbeing at TWBC 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.”

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