A SHOP in Pontypool town centre has been forced to close for three months after selling illegal vapes to school-aged children.

Council trading standards officers applied for a closure order following allegations that Pontypool Shop at 6 Commercial Street, Pontypool, was involved in the sale of illegal and illicit tobacco products and illegal vapes.

The council received information alleging the shop was involved in selling illegal vapes to school-aged children.

At a hearing on Monday, November 20, Newport Magistrates Court granted the order to prevent criminal and antisocial behaviour in the area.

What does the closure order mean?

Access to the premises is prohibited at all times for the duration of the closure order, except by prior arrangement and specific written agreement with Torfaen County Borough Council.

Breaching a closure order is a criminal offence which carries a penalty of imprisonment for three months or an unlimited fine - or both.

Councillor Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment said: “A closure order is a fast and flexible power that can be used by Trading Standards teams to close premises which are being used, or likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder.

“Illegal tobacco and vapes have been found to contain a range of harmful chemicals which could be damaging to a person’s health, making them very dangerous.

“The Council will take appropriate action to protect the public when allegations are received.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco or vapes can contact the Torfaen Trading Standards team on 01633 647623 or e-mail trading.standards@torfaen.gov.uk.