Council to investigate Hull Road Off-licence

ELO Off-licence on Hull Road is being investigated by City of York Council's Trading Standards Department for the second time in as many years.

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ELO Off-licence on Hull Road is being investigated by City of York Council's Trading Standards Department for the second time in as many years.

The City Council's Licensing Unit and the Safer York Partnership are seeking a review of the premises licence, leading to a potential £5,000 fine and revocation of the licence. If the Council's Licensing Hearing committee agrees that the store failed in its responsibilities to 'prevent crime and disorder' and 'protect children from harm'.

These charges were brought after events in November 2012 when police officers working with the Safer York Partnership found the shop's sale register to be poorly maintained and its mandatory CCTV system to not work. A few days after, a 15-year-old test purchaser was able to buy a bottles of alcopop and cider, despite the store operating a Challenge 21 policy.

Fined £2,400 at York Magistrates court in April last year after 2 University of York students reported him for selling 'Drop' a counterfeit brand of vodka with a proof of over 50%. Mehmet Altin, ELO's proprietor, speaking to Nouse, stressed how 'important' his 6 year old business was to him in that it was the 'sole source of income' providing for his six children.

Meanwhile, in a report prepared for a postponed licensing hearing on the 11th April this year, Council Officers described how Altin's refusal of sale log was 'a few scraps of paper'. Despite the fact that a licensing condition was that both he, and all those who worked in the shop, should attend a course on responsible alcohol retailing.

Council Officers concluded that Yavuz Zevkli, listed as ELO's "designated person" for alcohol retailing in fact had 'very little to do with the business'. After proving 'hard to contact' when the Council attempted to reach him at his listed address in Enfield, north London.
The review period has now been extended to the 10th May with public submissions invited alongside those from stakeholders. A decision on the status of the premises' alcohol licence will be made after that.

Penny Coupland, Senior Food Officer at City of York Council, said: "Businesses need to ensure they buy their stock from legitimate sources, to avoid ending up in this situation. The fine Mr Altin received far outweigh any profits he made from buying the cheap vodka.
"We are also keen to remove products such as the Drop Vodka from circulation, due to the potential health risks.

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