Closure order granted for shop selling illegal vapes in Dereham
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A shop in Dereham which sold illegal vapes, Nitrous Oxide Substance (NOS) canisters, vapes containing THC and illicit tobacco, as well as selling vapes to children, has been ordered to close following a court hearing. This is the first closure order for a shop selling illegal vapes granted in Norfolk.
A closure notice was served at The Green Shop on Norwich Street in Dereham on Monday 4 December following four visits over a seven month period from Norfolk Trading Standards and Norfolk Constabulary. A significant number of items were seized during those visits including thousands of illegal vapes alongside tobacco, cigarettes, NOS canisters, THC rolls and very strong alcohol (the shop does not hold a valid licence to sell any alcohol).
Following the initial Notice, a court hearing was held at Norwich Magistrates’ Court today ( Wednesday 6 December) and a three-month closure order was granted.
On one of the visits, on October 12, officers seized a number of class c drugs. A man in his 20s was arrested and bailed. On another occasion officers discovered a large compartment concealed under the floor filled with illegal products. Police officers also confirmed to the court that had been told that children as young as 11 were sold vapes from The Green Shop.
Police have received lots of reports of nuisance behaviour outside the shop including litter and anti-social behaviour. Witnesses have told officers how some local businesses and residents report they find the behaviour of people gathering outside the shop very intimidating and that it is having a huge impact on the community.
The application for the order was applied for by Norfolk Constabulary and supported by Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards Team and Breckland District Council.
PC Natalie Cooper from the Breckland Operational Partnership Team said: “The anti-social behaviour attracted by this shop has had a significant negative impact on the local community, and by getting this closure order granted we are able to give some respite to people living in Dereham.”
Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships Cllr Margaret Dewsbury said: “The Closure Order granted today sends a clear signal that organisations with enforcement responsibilities across Norfolk work effectively together and will take positive action to protect public health and address the illegal trading of vapes and vaping products and their illegal sale to children and young people under 18.
“Illegal vapes, such as those seized during these visits, pose a public health risk because they often have excessively high levels of nicotine which are over the legal limits, making them highly addictive and harmful to health.”
Tobacco and vape enforcement is one of the County Council’s top priorities because we have seen a rise in the number of complaints to Trading Standards. If you have concerns about unsafe products on sale, including illicit vapes, they should be reported to Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.