A 'DANGEROUS' shisha cafe in Bolton was raided in a late-night swoop by police, fire and council officers.

The raid was part of on-going crackdown on indoor smoking.

A total of 110 shisha pipes and 10 bags containing shisha-related products were confiscated from the town centre venue ­— and those caught smoking were handed fines.

The fire service handed the business a prohibition notice, banning it from using the upper floor as there was no means of fire escape.

An unattended charcoal burner in an enclosed outdoor space also blocked an exit from the premises which, officers said, could have put customers and staff inside the bar at risk of serious harm.

Legal proceedings mean the cafe cannot be named yet, say council.

The operation is the latest in a series of raids on premises to stop smoking in enclosed rooms.

The Bolton News:

The Health Act 2006 prohibits smoking in any area which has a roof or ceiling, unless at least half the wall space is open.

The raid was organised by Bolton Council’s Regulatory Services team in partnership with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police.

Officers inspected the premises and seized hookah pipes which were being used to smoke shisha in an enclosed space.

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A total of 15 fines were issued to people who were smoking.

Council bosses have warned that action will continue to be taken against shisha bars which breach health and safety regulations.

Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Regulatory Services, Cllr Anne Galloway, said: “Nobody is above the law when it comes to smoking regulations and this was the latest raid in an ongoing operation to clamp down on rogue business owners.

“Customers and staff working at this shisha bar were all taking enormous risks with their health. The open burner blocking an exit from the premises was incredibly dangerous.

“This café was also flagrantly breaching a number of regulations and there was a real fire safety risk to customers.

“Operations like these are aimed at making Bolton a safer place to be and we are now taking legal action to prosecute the owner.

“We will continue to crack down on any establishment which is flouting the law.”

Fire Safety Manager Jon Hill added: “The safety of our residents is always Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's top priority.

“This particular business was operating in such a way that was posing a threat to both their employees’ welfare as well as paying customers. This is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"By issuing a prohibition notice we are ensuring that anyone working in or visiting the venue can do so safely.

“If you spot any fire safety concerns please don’t hesitate to call us by phoning 0800 555 815.”

Concerns about a business breaching smoking regulations can be reported at environmental.health@bolton.gov.uk