A shop in King’s Lynn which sold illegal vapes, 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 second closure order for a shop selling illegal vapes granted in Norfolk.
A closure notice was served at Labas Minimarket on 41 Norfolk Street in King’s Lynn on Tuesday 19 December following several visits since March by Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk Trading Standards.
33 complaints have been made over the last few months, 32 due to underage sales, sales of illegal vapes and illicit tabaco. In a raid on 1 November, 405 illegal vapes and 13 packs of illicit cigarettes, as well as an illegal hide, was discovered.
A significant number of items have been seized including thousands of illegal vapes alongside tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol, the shop does not have an alcohol license.
Following the initial Notice, a court hearing was held at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 21 December 2023 and a closure order was granted up to 25 February 2024. The council further secured the agreement of the landlord to work with the council to ensure that future activity in the premises was legal.
The application for the order was applied for by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and supported by Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards Team.
Jo Rust, the borough councillor responsible for People and Communities, said: “The anti-social behaviour caused by this shop has had a negative impact on the local community and a nuisance to the public. The nature of the illicit products are a significant risk to people’s health and wellbeing.
“The list of completely unacceptable activities includes selling illegal products to children and targeting the most vulnerable in our society. I’m pleased that the borough council, working with partners in the police and trading standards, have put a stop to this.”
Sgt Darryl Grief, local policing team sergeant said: “This is a real priority for our local team here in King’s Lynn – we have had many people contact us with concerns around sales of vapes to children and the associated anti-social behaviour. This closure order shows that we will act on those things that affect the people in our community.”