Blackpool town centre store ordered to close by the council following joint operation with the police

The closure order is part of a wider crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the area
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A town centre Blackpool shop has been ordered to close for two months following repeated illegal activity including selling nicotine products to children.

Corner Bargains on Caunce Street has been shut down following a joint operation between Blackpool Council and Lancashire Constabulary as part of Operation Centurion which led to the council issuing a closure order.

Corner BargainsCorner Bargains
Corner Bargains
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Following multiple visits and seizures, the following issues were identified:

  • Selling nicotine-inhaling products to underage children
  • Selling illicit/illegal cigarettes and tobacco products
  • Anti-social behaviour near the premises
  • Not positively engaging with officers of the council and police
  • Workers not having/providing identification on request

Inspector Jon Campbell-Smith, of Blackpool Police, said: “This behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will continue to tackle anti-social behaviour and challenge shop operators who choose to take part in illegal activity.”

Coun Paula Burdess, cabinet member with responsibility for community safety at the council, said: “This shop was having an impact on the local community as a result of the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour that was taking place both inside and outside the property.

“Closing a business for two months is not a decision that we take lightly but in this case, it was absolutely needed to break the cycle of behaviour and protect the public."

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Operation Centurion is a Lancashire-wide police crackdown on anti-social behaviour which was launched summer 2023. The Brunswick ward of Blackpool was identified as a hotspot been targeted with extra policing resources and funding.

 In addition to the enforced closure, the operator also had to agree to a number of conditions on a Community Protection Warning. These include implementing a Challenge 25 policy for age-restricted products, staff training, a new register of employees’ details, improved record-keeping to demonstrate where products have been purchased from and ensuring no illicit products are sold from the premises.

Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our communities and a priority in my Fighting Crime Plan, as it's an issue that residents raise with me time and time again.

"This type of enforcement, where necessary, alongside the additional policing hours being seen in hotspot areas, is having a positive impact on communities, and keeping law-abiding Lancashire residents safe."