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Poor management leads to licence revoke for Kingswood bar

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 24/02/2016

A bar in Kingswood has had its licence revoked following a hearing of South Gloucestershire Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee.

Following a number of incidents of crime, disorder and public nuisance an application to review the licence of Bar Celona on Regent Street was submitted by Avon & Somerset Constabulary.

Police intelligence revealed that during 2012 to 2015, 45 per cent of violent crime offences in the Kingswood area were attributed to Bar Celona, with 26 assaults recorded.

The incidents all happened between the hours of 10pm and 4am and this level of nuisance is disproportionate compared with other licensed premises nearby and represents an unacceptable demand on police resources.

Discussions between the police, council licensing officers and the bar’s management in 2015 led to a series of warnings being issued to the owners. An action plan was also drawn up to help prevent any future problems occurring but this only resulted in a temporary improvement.

The main complaints about the premises include:

● the bar was poorly managed with poor record keeping identified by licensing officers both in the incident log and refusals register, which all licensed premises are required to keep

● admission of intoxicated customers and individuals who have already been banned by the Pubwatch group*

● compliance with the premises licence conditions regarding admission of under-21 year olds was not being met

● CCTV footage from 14 November 2015 showed a serious assault on an intoxicated customer within the premises and a lack of appropriate action taken by staff on duty. This indicated that there had been no lasting improvements in the management of the premises

● periods when the bar’s CCTV system was not working properly.

Cllr Colin Hunt, who chaired the hearing, said: “Revoking a bar’s licence is very much a last resort as we do carry out a lot of preventative work with our police colleagues to try and avoid this scenario from happening.

“South Gloucestershire is a safe place to be and crime levels are generally low. However Kingswood does have a higher level of crime resulting from the nigh time economy and the volume of complaints received about this particular establishment is not acceptable.

“I hope this sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour in South Gloucestershire. We want everyone to enjoy a night out in South Gloucestershire but we also want them to do so in a safe environment.”

South Gloucestershire Inspector Clive Summerill added: “We worked closely with South Gloucestershire Council for many months to gather evidence and prove breach after breach of Bar Celona’s licence. Together we uncovered underage drinking, shoddy training and recording practices, and amateur door staff. Regardless of any appeal, the licence revocation is testament to our joint hard work and commitment.”

After hearing evidence from the police, members of the licensing committee revoked the premises licence during a hearing held on Friday 19 February.

The owners have the right to appeal the decision at Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of receiving notification of the decision.

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