A CALL for the alcohol licences of two Haddington retailers to be reviewed following youth trouble in the town has been rejected.

East Lothian Council’s licensing board was asked to call in the town’s RS McColl store on High Street and Tesco supermarket for a review by a member of the public after he claimed that they were linked to the sale of alcohol to youths involved in a recent incident.

However, the call was rejected after police told the board they had ruled out any wrongdoing by either of the stores.

Speaking to the board meeting last Thursday, Police Constable Heather Bowsher, said she was aware of the allegation but Tesco did not sell the brands of alcohol identified as being drunk by the youths, while RS McColl had a stringent alcohol policy and CCTV footage which proved the drink was not bought at its store.

She told the board that the alcohol in question had been identified as Buckfast, Glen’s Vodka and Dragon Soop – a caffeinated alcohol drink.

PC Bowsher said: “We visited both premises mentioned by the person involved. RS McColl has a very diligent operation and could prove the alcohol was not bought there. Tesco does not sell the brands in question.”

The Courier reported on drink-fuelled clashes among a group of up to 100 youths who gathered on the playing fields behind Knox Academy on Friday, June 16, resulting in two teenagers being taken to hospital for treatment and three being arrested and charged by police.

PC Bowsher said investigation were ongoing, telling the board: “This is being regarded as a serious incident.”

Police and licensing officers also told the board that the majority of youths involved in the anti-social behaviour had travelled into Haddington from outlying towns and were likely to have brought the alcohol with them.

And they said it was unlikely any off-licence in East Lothian sold the alcohol to the children.

PC Bowsher also said some youths would have got the alcohol from their own homes.

She said: “In some cases parents give their children alcohol or they steal it from their home. We also have an issue with older people buying it for them.

“I am fairly confident our operators do not sell to under-agers. They have far too much to lose.”

The board unanimously agreed to reject calls for a review of the licences for the two stores in Haddington.