Convenience store stopped from causing major inconvenience

Posted on Wednesday 27th June 2018
ASB team Feruz superstore

A mini-market which had been responsible for criminal and anti-social behaviour In Limehouse has been closed down following concerns about its link to crime and anti-social behaviour. 

Residents on the Birchfield Estate on reported to Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) that the shop was being used as a gathering point for large groups of youths engaging in rowdy and intimidating behaviour including fights, drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis.  It was alleged that the shop kept no regular opening hours as would be expected from a local store, exceeded its allowed opening hours by operating past midnight, had very limited stock and sold to under-age customers. 

Local residents organised a community safety meeting with Police and THH’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team to complain that Feruz Ali Lesser the business owner of Feruz Super Store, 1 Pennyfields, E14 8HB, was encouraging anti-social and criminal behaviour. 

Two weeks later THH’s Police teams executed a warrant to search the shop which is just off West India Dock Road.  A joint operation with Tower Hamlets Homes, Police and Tower Hamlets Council resulted in a three month Premises Closure order being obtained on 25 June from Thames Magistrates court.  Costs were also awarded to us of £2500.  The court heard impact statements from local residents which included reports of: 

  • Large groups of 14-20 year olds intimidating passers-by, fighting with each other and threatening local residents.
  • Cannabis being smoked, alcohol and ‘laughing gas’ being consumed openly and offensive language being used, particularly in front of parents taking young children to school
  • Urinating, vomiting and spitting
  • Shop-keeper not only took no action to stop the behaviour outside his shop but joined in with them
  • Drug-related activity was encouraged in the area by the shop, attracting customers and dealers from the illegal drug trade with packages of drugs being seen changing hands.
  • A group of six boys aged up to 20 kicking a younger (13-14year old) boy repeatedly, whilst on the ground
  • Males on mopeds wearing balaclavas behaving and driving agressively
  • Cars parked next to the shop playing loud music
  • An angle-grinder used to attempt a break-in to a gate in the nearby housing block
  • Elderly residents being trapped in their homes at they were too frightened to go out. 

Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Homes, Susmita Sen, said: 

“This so called convenience shop was in fact causing major inconvenience to the community.  The premises were responsible for criminal behaviour;  our residents shouldn’t have to put up it and we won’t put up with it either.  We’ll continue to make tackling anti-social behaviour on our estates our highest priority.

 

Posted on Wednesday 27th June 2018