Mansfield shop shut down for selling vapes to children

When police visited the store to enquire further, a 15-year-old boy was found working alone behind the counter. Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Police have closed down a shop after it was caught repeatedly selling vaping products to children.

A temporary closure notice was issued against Mansfield Express in West Gate, Mansfield, after it failed an earlier test purchase.

E-cigarettes, also known as vapes, allow users to inhale nicotine in vapour form rather than through the smoke of a traditional cigarette. It is illegal to sell them to anyone under the age of 18.

During a police test purchase on 21 December, a vape which was later found to flout government rules was sold to a child.

Nottinghamshire Police said officers visited the store on Sunday 8 January to speak to a manager and were greeted by a 15-year-old boy working alone inside.

An immediate 24-hour closure order was imposed and later extended ahead of a hearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 10 January.

The order was approved by a magistrate and will remain in place for the next three months.

The court was told of numerous complaints from parents, schools and nearby businesses relating to the sale of e-cigarettes to children, including that of a 13-year-old girl whose mother called police after finding a receipt issued by the shop.

Insp Kylie Davies of Nottinghamshire Police said: “Over the last few months we have had multiple reports from members of the public about the activities of this business.

“Parents, schools and other retailers have all expressed concern about the sale of e-cigarette to children, and we have discussed this issue at length with partners at Mansfield District Council, Trading Standards and the local Business Improvement District.

“It was clear from the events of Sunday that the time had come to take decisive action and that is exactly what we did.”

Sgt Alice Bartle added: “The law around the sale of these products is in place for good reason and must be respected.

“I hope this closure order serves as a warning to all local retailers that this kind of flagrant illegality will not be tolerated and won’t be ignored.”

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