Court orders closure of shop

Published Friday, 12th April 2024

Magistrates have granted a Premise Closure Order on a shop in Hartlepool after a trading standards investigation into the sale of illicit tobacco and illegal vapes.

Qwidz In which is in Murray Street, was closed down for three months by Teesside Magistrates following an application by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Trading Standards Team.

An application for costs of £1,800 was also approved.

The court heard that reports had been received from members of the public over a number of months about the sale of illicit tobacco and illegal vapes from the premises.

Qwidz In

Qwidz In

Sylvia Pinkney, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Assistant Director (Regulatory Services), said: “This demonstrates how we are determined to clampdown on illegal activity such as this to protect members of the public and legitimate local businesses.

“The supply of cheap counterfeit tobacco leads to many issues – it causes a nuisance to the local community, it makes it easier for children to obtain tobacco and it has a negative impact on local businesses trading legally who lose custom."

The order will run until 11th July. The landlord is still allowed access to the premises, but only with the express permission of the local authority.

Anyone who witnesses the order being breached should call Cleveland Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.