Sunday 21 July 2024
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Police close shop down over sales of vapes to children

Police in Mansfield have closed a shop after vaping products were repeatedly sold to children.

A temporary closure notice was issued against Mansfield Express, in West Gate, after it failed an earlier test purchase.

Officers, who attended the store on Sunday afternoon to seek further information, were greeted by a 15-year-old boy working alone inside.

An immediate 24-hour closure order was imposed and later extended ahead of a hearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The order, issued under the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act, was approved by a magistrate and will remain in place for the next three months.

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The court was told of numerous complaints from parents, schools and nearby businesses relating to the sale of e-cigarettes to children.

Numerous examples were cited, including that of a 13-year-old girl whose mother called the police after finding a receipt issued by the shop.

During a police test purchase on Wednesday 21 December, a vape – later found to flout government rules – was sold to a child.

Inspector Kylie Davies district commander for Mansfield said: “Over the last few months we have had multiple reports from members of the public about the activities of this business.

“Parents, schools and other retailers have all expressed concern about the sale of e-cigarette to children, and we have discussed this issue at length with partners at Mansfield District Council, Trading Standards and the local Business Improvement District.

“It was clear from the events of Sunday that the time had come to take decisive action and that is exactly what we did.”

Sergeant Alice Bartle added: “The law around the sale of these products is in place for good reason and must be respected

“I hope this closure order serves as a warning to all local retailers that this kind of flagrant illegality will not be tolerated and won’t be ignored.”

E-cigarettes allow users to inhale nicotine in vapour form rather than through the smoke of a traditional cigarette. It is illegal to sell them to anyone under the age of 18.

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