View of shop front from street.
Police found a large amount of cannabis at the shop at 39 Great Titchfield Street and in a vehicle parked nearby. Photo: Fitzrovia News.

A shop in Fitzrovia has closed down and has had its alcohol licence permanently stripped by Westminster City Council after a police raid found drugs hidden in sweet packets.

Police officers discovered large quantities of cannabis at Fashion and Media News off-licence at 39 Great Tichfield Street.

The council removed the shop’s license in a private licensing hearing on Friday 5 November.

The panel heard that when police conducted the raid at around 11.40am on Monday 4 October they discovered several shopping bags full of cannabis in a nearby grey Ford transit van and huge amounts of the drug in the basement of the shop.

Cannabis was found in packets. Photo: Metropolitan Police / Westminster City Council.

Some of the drugs had been branded to look like popular sweets and a large amount of cash was also found hidden in the van.

The officers searched the property using a warrant and two men aged 41 and 58 were arrested on suspicion of possession and intent to supply and were taken to Islington Police Station.

They were later both released under investigation.

A police report about the raid contained allegations of drug dealing.

It said: “While searching the basement area a number of snap seal and cling film bags containing cannabis were found on a shelf and next to a fridge.

“Officers also found a small of scales with the remnants of cannabis indicating they had been used to weigh cannabis.

“Officers found a large bag containing several loose shopping bags with a large quantity of cannabis bags within.

“These ‘branded’ bags had the appearance of sweets and would not at first sight be clear that they contained drugs.”

The investigation is ongoing and police are forensically examining phones, CCTV and drugs before the case is referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Westminster City Council licensing sub-committee 5 November 2021.