Police say Bury corner shop sold cannabis ‘like crisps’ and had drugs containers in the store room

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A corner shop in Bury had its licence suspended after police told councillors they found illegal drugs being sold there.

Bags of cannabis were allegedly sold at a corner shop like ‘packets of crisps’ with the only stock in the storeroom ‘containers of drugs’, police have said. When police, immigration enforcement and trading standards officers visited Topshop, on Hurst Street in Bury, on 20 April they noticed a ‘pungent smell of cannabis’.

Within minutes the enforcement team found two plastic containers in the store-room of the shop which allegedly contained 75 snap bags containing cannabis bush and 11 snap bags of cannabis resin.

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Details of the find have been published by Bury Council as part of an urgent licence review of the premises, which has resulted in the business having its licence suspended.

What did police tell Bury Council about the off licence?

As part of a report for Bury Council police licensing officer PC Peter Eccleston, who was present during the visit, said: “Although the premises has a licence to sell alcohol, it was apparent that the store had not sold alcohol for some time with no stock on the shelves or in the storeroom.

“In fact, the only stock we found in the storeroom was the containers of cannabis and it is my opinion that the shop is a front for the sale of drugs which are likely to be just as readily available as a packet of crisps.”

Police say they have found drugs being sold at a corner shop in Bury. Photo: Getty ImagesPolice say they have found drugs being sold at a corner shop in Bury. Photo: Getty Images
Police say they have found drugs being sold at a corner shop in Bury. Photo: Getty Images

PC Eccleston added that the premises had no CCTV and no refusals book could be found.

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The original intention of the visit was to search the premises for illicit tobacco and illegal vapes. However, after finding the drugs, Greater Manchester Police requested an urgent licence review as they allege the premises is associated with serious crime.

What did Bury Council say about the premises?

A council report to members of the licensing panel said: “Two individuals were arrested in the premises on suspicion of an offence of possession with intent to supply class B drugs. However neither party is the premises license holder.

“During the investigation, it has been established that neither detained persons were employed by the store and certainly one male had been asked to temporarily watch the store by two Asian males as police and other agencies arrived on scene.”

Following the serving of the application for the expedited review, the premises licence holder cancelled the premises licence in writing, stating that the shop had been sold. The council said no evidence of the sale was provided.

Licensing panel members from Bury Council have now suspended the premises licence. A full review will take place at a later date.