Five Brierley Hill shops shut by council for selling illegal cigarettes

Five shops profiting from the sale of illegal tobacco have been hit with closure orders following a landmark case, successfully brought to court by Dudley Trading Standards.

The Dudley Council-run team were granted five closure orders by Dudley Magistrates Court to put a stop to the illegal activity taking place in five shops on Brierley Hill High Street.

This is the first case of its kind in the country where a local authority has used its powers to take five premises to court at the same time.

The council has used its civil powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to close premises which are causing ‘nuisance and disorder’.

The team has spent recent months investigating reports and suspicious activity to build a bank of evidence against Eazy Shop, Day 2 Day, Istanbul, Polo Mini Market and ASA Mini Market on the town’s High Street for dealing in illegal tobacco.

On November 18th, trading standards officers with the support of the police visited all five properties to serve a 24-hour closure notice. The following day, on November 19th, the closure notices were extended until the full hearing of the case in court today. Magistrates ordered all five shops to close for a minimum of three months. Deborah Harkins, director responsible for trading standards, said:

“We are really pleased with the result from court today. This is a ground-breaking case, which has seen our trading standards officers work extensively to build up a bank of evidence against these five shops, which have continued to flout the law and sell illegal products on the High Street.

“Not only are these products even more harmful to people’s health, these rogue premises are failing to pay their taxes, which is unfair on those trading legitimately in the town.

“We’ll now be working with the landlords of all five properties to ensure they let their premises to reputable, legitimate people in the future.

“As an authority we remain committed to regenerating Brierley Hill High Street and supporting those traders who are working hard to earn an honest living.

“We recently secured millions of pounds of investment through Future High Street Funds which will support our ambitions to breathe new life into the town.“

In a similar case back in December 2018 Dudley Trading Standards successfully used its civil powers to close European Food Express on Dudley High Street for six months after it was found to be persistently dealing in illegal tobacco.


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