A part-time shop assistant said she was told to lie to police officers by her boss when they discovered illegal cigarettes.

Wiltshire Police have asked members of Swindon Borough Council’s licensing panel to review the alcohol licence granted to Victoria – sometimes known as Victorian, off licence at 184 Victoria Road – near Regent Circus.

Constable Paul Bezzant, and police licensing officer Chloe Hanson visited the shop on April 29 to ask whether it had sold alcohol to a known street drinker, which is an offence.

They found the part-time shop assistant there, but not the owner and licence holder Hekar Talabani, who lives in Cardiff. When they rang him, he told the officers, he was in London for the day.

The officers seized the shop’s CCTV equipment and arranged to meet Mr Talabani the next day.

Officer Hanson wrote in her submitted evidence: “PC Bezzant spotted a black holdall bag in the small stock room and asked the shop worker whose bag it was.

“She replied ‘it’s my own personal bag’ to which PC Bezzant explained he would need to look inside”

PC Bezzant’s evidence says: “She sighed and replied ‘it’s not mine’.

“I opened the bag, inside there were several small black carrier bags use to separate individual brands of cigarettes.

“The brands appeared to mostly be foreign label possibly Polish, I suspected they were either non-duty paid or possible counterfeit.”

PC Bezzant added that the shop assistant called Mr Talabani and then told him that her boss had told her to say the bag was hers. A trading standards officer was called to the shop and, after a search, more cigarettes were found.

In total, 76 packets of cigarettes and three packets of rolling tobacco were discovered, according to the statement of trading standards officer Michael Glew.

PC Bezzant told the committee that a known, persistent street drinker attempted to enter the shop and, when told by the officer it was shut, because abusive, shouting and swearing at him before heading away.

The licensing panel meets at 1pm on June 24 at Euclid Street. It has the power to revoke the licence, suspend it for three months, attach conditions, or remove the designated premises supervisor if it believes he or she is the cause of breaches.

There are two businesses with very similar names in Victoria Road. This licence review relates to the off licence Victoria at number 184 and not in any way to the newsagent called Victoria News at number 115.