Licence fight for Limehouse store accused of selling laughing gas to children
- Credit: Archant
A shop in Limehouse sold laughing gas to children as young as 14 which resulted in a teenager being hospitalised, it has been claimed.
According to police they found 13,500 silver canisters of so-called “hippy crack” during a search of Tanim Superstore in Commercial Road.
Police are calling for Tanmin Superstore to be stripped of its alcohol licence.
A report by police for Tower Hamlets Council’s licensing board says the officers discovered the stash of nitrous oxide canisters, with a street value of £5,620, after acting on a tip-off and a teenager was rushed to hospital after inhaling from the nitrous oxide canisters bought at the store.
It states: “Both the police and Tower Hamlets council received intelligence that the premises was involved in selling nitrous oxide to people who were using it to inhale.
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“People are coming to the shop from different areas to purchase nitrous oxide. The shop has sold to children as young as 14 who had to be taken to hospital as a result of inhaling [the gas].”
During a visit on June 22 an undercover officer said he witnessed “several young people” trying to purchases the canisters from the shop and when one woman was passed a bag by the shopkeeper she said “last time you didn’t give me any balloons”.
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After she was stopped outside the shop she told officers she was on her way to a party and had paid £10 for a box of canisters.
When the undercover officer made himself known to shop staff, he said he witnessed “several young people come into the store who were extremely disappointed because they couldn’t buy nitrous oxide canisters”.
The officer searched the shop and found thousands of silver canisters.
The police report added Tanim Superstore had also been suspected of selling laughing gas in September last year and had allegedly sold alcohol to people who were already drunk.
A spokesman for Tanim Superstore denied the shop has sold laughing gas to under 18s and added that has stopped selling laughing gas since the police raid in June.
A Tower Hamlets Council licensing spokesman said the review is open to comments until September 3 and will go before councillors later in the year.