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.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

In Attendance:

 

Applicant for Review                PC Giles Balestrini

 

Making Representation in support of Review

John McGirr, Alcohol Strategy Co-ordinator Public Health

 

Licence Holder                        Sithamparappillai Thavaseelan; Vimilara Thavaseelan; David Graham (legal representative)

 

The Chair welcomed all parties and ensured that introductions were made, all papers had been received and that all parties were aware of their right to be represented.

 

The Sub-Committee considered an application made by Metropolitan Police for a review of the premises licence for Euro Food & Wine, 12 Plumstead Road, Woolwich, London SE18 7BZ.

 

The Licensing Officer gave an illustrated introduction to the report. He advised the Sub-Committee that subsequent to the application for review the alcohol was now screened off, and there was now a sign on the front hatch stating that the premises did not sell alcohol.

 

The Sub-Committee was addressed by the representative of the Metropolitan Police, PC Giles Balestrini. PC Balestrini highlighted that there had been two main incidents on the night which he described in detail. He said there were people at the hatch throughout the night, consuming alcohol, and at times the impression was that it was a social club, or bar. He emphasised this Review followed very shortly on from another. The Police had lost confidence in the premises being operated properly and sought revocation of the licence.

 

The Sub-Committee was addressed by the representative of Public Health, John McGirr, in support of the Review. He noted the seriousness of the incidents, and that conditions were not being adhered to. Public Health requested that the Sub-Committee consider revoking the licence.

 

The Sub-Committee was addressed by David Graham, the licence holder’s legal representative. He said it was acknowledged that what had happened was not acceptable, but noted it was on the street and not in the premises. He said that it was due to a misunderstanding as to when the previous decision took effect that the premises was selling alcohol throughout the night. It was accepted that there was a propensity for nuisance to occur during that time. It was proposed to address the Review by -

·        Closing the premises between 11pm and 7pm;

·        Serving no alcohol between 7 and 9 am;

·        Adding a condition that there be a personal licence holder on the premises at any time that there is a sale of alcohol;

·        Displaying a sign stating that no person will be served if they have been observed loitering outside;

·        Displaying a sign informing customers about the Public Spaces Protection Order.

 

The licence holder’s legal representative stated that they were not defending the operation during the time in question, but added that none of the staff then had been personal licence holders. It was accepted that there had been sales of alcohol and loitering, but it was not accepted that it had been demonstrated that the bottles used as weapons had been supplied by the premises. The licence holder would take charge of the premises and would seek to find a new DPS. It was suggested that the Sub-Committee could also remove the licence holder as DPS if they were not satisfied with him, rather than revoke the licence. He referred to the Guidance that a decision should be proportionate not a punishment. He stated that the licence holder did take the matter seriously, and did not want to cause a nuisance at night.

 

In response to the Sub-Committee’s question the licence holder’s legal representative stated that the reason the licence holder had not checked when the previous decision took effect was because he had been travelling. 

 

The Sub-Committee felt that after nineteen years the licence holder would understand what was required. The licence holder stated that he had nothing say. The licence holder added that after the last Review he had sent staff to be trained.

 

In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, the licence holder’s legal representative replied that the licence holder was not saying that he was not responsible. It was accepted that alcohol should not have been sold. The licence holder differentiated between his responsibility inside and outside the premises, in relation to the incident log. Staff had called the Police after the second incident.

 

There was a discussion of the matter.

 

John McGirr, Alcohol Strategy Co-ordinator referred to the statistics showing a high volume of alcohol related incidents in that particular area. He felt strict measures were required because of the disproportionate alcohol problems in the area.

 

PC Giles Balestrini commented that they had returned to a Review Hearing only a short time after the last one. The DPS had been given an opportunity then. It was not accepted that there had been a misunderstanding. It was emphasised that the same person would still be controlling the business even if he were not the DPS. PC Balestrini was not assured that the premises would not continue to open past its terminal hours. He had listened to the proposals given by the licence holder’s legal representative but he had no confidence that the premises would operate in accordance with the licencing objectives.

 

All parties, with the exception of the Legal Advisor and Corporate Governance Officer, withdrew to allow the Sub-Committee to deliberate at 8.07pm. All parties returned at 8.25pm.

 

The Chair informed those present of the decision of the Sub-Committee, and stated that the full details would be given in the formal decision notice.

 

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.

 

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: