Dedicated team will catch shisha lounges in Brent that flout smoking ban

Bierut Gardens was fined for breaching the smoking ban last year (Pic credit: Brent Council)

Bierut Gardens was fined for breaching the smoking ban last year (Pic credit: Brent Council) - Credit: Archant

Brent Council and the police have formed a dedicated team which will crackdown on shisha lounges that flout the smoking ban.

A 10-week operation will be rolled out across the borough which will see officers visiting venues to ensure they are operating within the law.

In addition to checking the premises are complying with smoke-free legislation, officers will also ensure they meet health and safety and fire safety regulations and tobacco products are not being sold to anyone under the age of 18.

Not only does smoking shisha carry the same health risks and diseases as those associated with cigarette smoking it could be even more damaging as smokers often use shisha over a longer period of time.

Some illegal venues have become a magnet for antisocial and violent behaviour are rife and also create a smell and noise nuisance.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “Brent Council takes a zero tolerance approach to any shisha venue that is breaking the law. This new taskforce shows that we are listening to the concerns of residents and taking the issue extremely seriously.

“Too many of Brent’s shisha cafes are in breach of their licences, and in some instances operating illegally without a licence. We are putting the safety and wellbeing of our residents first by cracking down on these venues.

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Chief Inspector Tania Martin from Brent Police added: “Brent Police are working together with our community protection partners and we will continue to conduct multi-agency enforcement visits on shisha venues in Brent.

“From a policing perspective this is due to an increase in anti-social behaviour and violence issues at some of the venues.”