Will Leighton Buzzard wine store lose licence?

Buzz Wine North St Leighton Buzzard
Buzz Wine North St Leighton Buzzard

A wine shop could have its licence revoked after persistent complaints of selling alcohol to street drinkers in Leighton Buzzard.

Buzz Wine on North Street, Leighton Buzzard, is also accused of buying and selling on alcohol stolen from other shops.

An application to remove its licence will go before Central Bedford Council’s licencing committee tomorrow.

In the application, CBC licensing officer Imogen Best states: “It is a well-known fact that Leighton Buzzard has a problem with street drinking.

“In my opinion, this problem is being exacerbated by the premise licence holder as he continues in selling strong alcohol to street drinkers, whilst they are drunk.

“Mr Azhir also offers the facility of selling to them on ‘tick’.”

Last year, licence holder Mr Ali Iraj Azhir was caught out in a council sting after selling alcohol to two underage volunteers, and on March 28, 2016, Mr Azhir pleaded guilty to an offence of persistently 
selling alcohol to persons 
under age.

Numerous supporting statements have been given to the licensing panel from local businesses and town councillors, describing anti-social behaviour caused by a group of street drinkers in the town.

Bedfordshire Police is supporting the application to remove the venue’s licence.

Besides examples of selling alcohol to street drinkers and underage children, one policeman stated: “Bedfordshire Police also holds intelligence to suggest that a named shop lifter is regularly stealing alcohol from shops in the Leighton Buzzard area and sell it to Buzz Wines to get money for cannabis.”

This was backed up by another police statement: “Intelligence suggests that a named individual is selling alcohol stolen from other premises to Buzz Wines.”

A total of 88 incidents of anti-social behaviour were recorded by police occurring within 100m of Buzz Wines over a six month period, many involving street drinking and homelessness.

Currently, the premise is applying to transfer the licence to a new individualAn action group set up by CBC is also attempting to tackle the problem of street drinkers in Leighton Buzzard.

The LBO made several attempts to contact Buzz Wines but was not successful before our deadline.