Convenience store in Warrington closed down following raid
Main article content
A closure order has been secured against a convenience store in Warrington as part of an investigation into anti-social and criminal behaviour.
The Warrington Problem Solving Team, with assistance from the Warrington Central Beat Management Team, executed a warrant at the new International Mini Market in Orford Lane at around 1.30pm on Tuesday 18 May.
This followed reports of dangerous parking and anti-social behaviour from both adults and young people in the street.
Approximately 4,000 counterfeit cigarettes and around 40 packs of counterfeit tobacco were seized as a result of the raid.
A 48-hour closure notice was imposed on the store, and on Thursday 20 May Warrington Magistrates’ Court granted an application for a three-month closure order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Inspector Danny Haddock, of Warrington Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “This is the fourth closure order imposed on premises in Orford Lane in recent months.
“Closure orders were secured against two shops – a different International Mini Market, the Tymbark store and a flat – back in March.
“It is all part of an investigation into anti-social and criminal behaviour in Orford Lane that has led to some businesses in the street closing down and some residents wanting to move away.
“After the initial closure orders were imposed, we continued to receive reports of intimidating and threatening behaviour from both adults and young people in Orford Lane.
“There were reports of young people pestering people to buy tobacco products from the convenience store for them and verbally abusing those who refused, groups of people loitering around the shop and dangerous parking on the road due to the amount of people going to the premises.
“People living and working in the area should not have to put up with such behaviour that has a detrimental effect on your quality of life.
“The latest closure order makes it illegal for anyone to be at the new International Mini Market for the next three months, and we will continue to take action against those who engage in criminal activity and fuel anti-social behaviour in our communities.
“Such behaviour will not be tolerated here at Warrington LPU.
“As this investigation shows, we use the full remit of the law to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour and make the town an even better place to live, work and visit.
“I hope that the action we have taken in Orford Lane encourages members of the Warrington community to inform us of any concerns they have regarding criminal or anti-social behaviour where they live or work.”
Sergeant Alex Reeves applied for the closure order on behalf of the Warrington Problem Solving Team.
He said: “As with the other premises that are subject to closure orders in Orford Lane, we will conduct regular checks of the new International Mini Market to ensure that its order is not breached.
“If anyone is found to have breached a closure order they are liable to be arrested and face up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
“Warrington Borough Council’s trading standards department have been informed of the counterfeit tobacco products that were seized from the convenience store this week.
“Not only does the sale of counterfeit tobacco products harm legitimate businesses, and society in general due to no tax being paid for them, it is also dangerous.
“Those who buy such products don’t know what is in them and what the money they have paid will be used for.
“Counterfeit cigarettes also present a greater risk of causing a fire than legitimate cigarettes that conform to reduced ignition propensity (RIP) regulations.”
Anyone with information regarding anti-social behaviour or counterfeit tobacco products in Warrington or anywhere else in Cheshire is asked to call 101, give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.