‘Dangerous' shisha café raided in continued crackdown on indoor smoking

13 Feb 2020 12:12
Published by: Daniel Almond

A huge haul of shisha pipes was seized in a late-night raid on a café in Bolton.

A total of 110 shisha pipes and 10 bags containing shisha related products were taken following an inspection of the town centre venue.

The operation is the latest in a series of raids on premises to stop smoking in enclosed rooms.

The Health Act 2006 prohibits smoking in any area which has a roof or ceiling, unless at least half the wall space is open.

The raid was organised by Bolton Council's Regulatory Services team in partnership with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police.

Officers inspected the premises and seized hookah pipes which were being used to smoke shisha in an enclosed space. A total of 15 fines were issued to people who were smoking.

The Fire Service also handed the business a prohibition notice, banning it from using the upper floor as there was no means of fire escape.

An unattended charcoal burner in an enclosed outdoor space also blocked an exit from the premises, which could have put customers and staff inside the bar at risk of serious harm.

Council bosses have warned that action will continue to be taken against shisha bars which breach health and safety regulations.

Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Regulatory Services, Cllr Anne Galloway, said: "Nobody is above the law when it comes to smoking regulations and this was the latest raid in an ongoing operation to clamp down on rogue business owners.

"Customers and staff working at this shisha bar were all taking enormous risks with their health. The open burner blocking an exit from the premises was incredibly dangerous.

"This café was also flagrantly breaching a number of regulations and there was a real fire safety risk to customers.

"Operations like these are aimed at making Bolton a safer place to be and we are now taking legal action to prosecute the owner.

"We will continue to crack down on any establishment which is flouting the law."

Fire Safety Manager Jon Hill added: "The safety of our residents is always Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's top priority.

"This particular business was operating in such a way that was posing a threat to both their employees' welfare as well as paying customers. This is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"By issuing a prohibition notice we are ensuring that anyone working in or visiting the venue can do so safely.

"If you spot any fire safety concerns please don't hesitate to call us by phoning 0800 555 815."

Report concerns about a business breaching smoking regulations to environmental.health@bolton.gov.uk

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