Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Euro Food & Wine, 12 Plumstead Road, Woolwich, London SE18 7BZ

Application to review the existing Premises Licence

Decision:

In reaching its decision the Sub-Committee considered the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy, the Licensing Act 2003, the Regulations made thereunder and the Statutory Guidance issued by the Secretary of State under S.182 of that Act. In discharging its functions, the Sub-Committee did so with a view to promoting the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

 

 

and having considered all written representations and the evidence and submissions, the Sub-Committee:

 

1.    Revoked the Premises Licence

 

2.    Imposed the Interim Step of the Suspension of the Premises Licence until the determination of any appeal against the decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee.  

 

The Sub-Committee’s decision was based on issues raised concerning crime and disorder, public safety, and prevention of public nuisance 

 

 

Basis for Decision

 

The Sub-Committee considered the application by the police for a Summary Review of the Premises Licence because of prolonged anti-social behaviour and episodes of violence associated with the off licence premises and the supply of alcohol without a lawful authorisation being in place, after 11pm at night. The Sub-Committee had viewed the CCTV footage provided by the police prior to the hearing.

 

The Summary Review application, considered on 28th November 2018, resulted in the premises licence being suspended until the full review hearing. The Sub-Committee noted the representations from the premises licence holder against the imposition of the Interim Step to suspend the Premises Licence, which were heard by a differently constituted Licensing Sub-Committee on 30th November 2018. The interim suspension of the premises licences had been continued until the hearing of the full review.   

 

The Sub-Committee noted the reasons for the Interim Steps decision and the reasons of the decision of the Sub-Committee that heard representations against the suspension of the licence to continue the suspension of the licence. 

 

The Sub-Committee also gave due regard and consideration to the licensing history for the premises and modification of the licence conditions on 3rd October 2018, following another police review because of breaches of the licence conditions. The permission to supply alcohol 24 hours had been curtailed to take place between 9am – 11pm each day and the conditions of the licence had been modified.  

 

 

The Sub-Committee heard from PC Balestrini on behalf of the police, who referred to the written representations included within the agenda papers and the CCTV footage that the Sub-Committee had viewed. It was highlighted to the Sub-Committee that there were 2 main incidents on 11th November 2018 outside the premises, a man waiving a knife and then 2 males attacking others with baseball bats. One individual was hit on the head with a bottle. There were people coming and going outside the premises, which had become a bar, a social club, where people gather and cause anti-social behaviour and more serious public nuisance and crime and disorder, which was all associated with the premises serving alcohol to drunken individuals. CCTV show a male so drunk and falling over and yet he is sold alcohol. The Sub-Committee was informed that the police had lost confidence that the premises could improve following an earlier review hearing on 3rd October 2018, and a Closure Notice had to be served on 21st November 2018 for breach of licence conditions in that there was no one present on the premises who could operate the cctv system, selling beers, lager etc. above 6.5% ABV without permission, and no Incident Book being maintained.  The police sought a revocation of the premises licence.  

 

The Sub-Committee then heard from the public health representative. Public Health supported the police summary review for the reasons provided by the police. Despite conditions being modified and added at a review hearing on 3rd October 2018, the premises continued to sell alcohol after 11pm.  

 

 

The Sub-Committee then heard submissions from Mr Graham, on behalf of the joint licence holders. Mr Thavaseelen and DPS, was present for the hearing. Mr Graham stated it was accepted that what had happened on the night was not acceptable. The conduct of the premises was not being defended. As had been explained at the representations against the Interim Steps, there had been a misunderstanding on the part of Mr Thavaseelen. He had thought that he would receive another notification from the Council after the expiry of the 21 days to appeal against the review decision of 3rd October 2018. As he did not he assumed he could continue to sell alcohol 24 hours. It was accepted that Mr Thavaseelen was present at the hearing on 3rd October 2018. 

 

Mr Graham offered conditions that the Sub-Committee could impose and not revoke the premises licence, which included an undertaking to close the premises at 11pm and only open at 7am. The CCTV was now repaired and working and Mr Thavaseelen had been advised by professional licensing practitioners, and a personal licence holder would be present for all alcohol sales. There had been an error of judgement on the part of Mr Thavaseelen. Further, if the Sub-Committee felt Mr Thavaseelen could not be trusted he could be removed as the DPS.  Mr Graham also referred to paragraphs 11.20 and 11.21 of the section 182 Statutory Guidance, regarding cause or casual links and need for a proportionate response.

 

In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, it was accepted that the alcohol was being intentionally served because of Mr Thavaseelen’s misunderstanding, there was a correlation between the alcohol being sold and the violence, and it was accepted that alcohol should not have been served to people loitering outside the premises.

 

The Sub-Committee considered why Mr Thavaseelen had not understood the review decision of October 2018, he had not sought clarification, especially as he had been in business for 19 years and why he had not taken the review of October 2018 seriously as a responsible operator.

 

Public Health referred to page 358 of the Agenda, there had to be strict measures taken which are proportionate.

 

PC Balestrini for the police submitted that having heard the representations for the licence holders, and Mr Thavaseelen, there were no assurances that the premises will operate responsibly in the future. The police position had not changed. 

 

The Sub-Committee in reaching its decision, gave due regard to the written representations by Trading Standards including the non-compliance with condition 8 of the premises licence relating to the maintaining of a Refusals Log.

 

The Sub-Committee concluded that it had no confidence in the management of the premises or that there would be any improvements achieved when having regard to the premises recent history. There had been a disregard of the review decision of 3rd October 2018.  The premises had continued to attract street drinkers and be the focal point for anti-social behaviour and serious public disorder and violence. A change of the DPS was unlikely to have an impact upon the problems associated with the premises. The Sub-Committee had very serious concerns for the safety of the public and public nuisance being caused and the associated crime and disorder. It was proportionate that the Premises Licence be revoked 

 

The premises Licence is suspended until the time for appealing against the Sub-Committee’s decision has expired or any such appeal is determined.

 

The applicant for review, holder of the Premises Licence, or any other person who made relevant representations to the application may appeal against the Council’s decision to the Magistrates’ Court. Such an appeal must be submitted to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the date stated in the covering email/letter accompany the Notice of Decision.

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: