POLICE have raised a raft of concerns about a market town takeaway including the employment of illegal workers and its use as an unofficial youth club.

According to Durham Police, CCTV captures one occasion at Best Kebab One where during the course of an evening more than 30 youngsters are inside the Bishop Auckland food shop.

The force has cited its concerns over the running of the Fore Bondgate takeaway in an objection lodged with Durham County Council over a premises licence application.

Included in the transfer application document is a description of CCTV footage over a near one-and-a-half hour period on December 8 last year which details the coming and going of youngsters.

At one point there are 29 youths inside the shop while for 30 minutes there is an average of 20 in the building - with others congregating outside - while some are seen “play-fighting” and engaging in “rough play” before finally being ushered out.

The council received an application to transfer the premises licence into the name of Rafiq Sala on May 10 this year.

It followed an application to transfer the licence name with immediate effect to a Rabaz Sirwan Raza two months earlier.

A decision meeting was scheduled for June for the initial application but did not go ahead as a result of the second in May.

Durham Police submitted an objection relating to the first application and made further representations opposing the second application.

In a letter to the council from Caroline Dickenson, of the force’s Harm Reduction Unit, she states Durham Police objects under the “crime and disorder objective”.

She said: “When Durham Police first attended the premises on December 16, 2017, it was around numerous complaints of anti-social behaviour at the premises caused by local youths who were being allowed to use the pizza shop as a youth club.”

Officers also alleged they identified an illegal immigrant working in the shop that night.

Ms Dickenson added: “Durham Constabulary are of the opinion Rafiq Sala was involved with the premises throughout the period when there were ongoing issues with anti-social behaviour.”

The force alleges that his conduct shows a lack of support for the premises licence’s crime and disorder objective, and if granted the business would continue to be run “in a way that undermines the licensing objectives”.

In further documents from the police it is stated the food business operator since December 20, 2017, has been Mr Raza and prior to that was Mr Sala from December 13, 2016.

Durham County Council’s statutory licensing sub-committee will make a decision on the application at a meeting to be held at County Hall, Durham City, on Tuesday, June 19.

lMr Sala and Mr Raza have been charged by postal requisition with obstructing a police officer in execution of their duty and have been summonsed to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on June 21.