Brighton bar ordered to close after police complaints

Posted On 21 Jan 2011 at 1:36 pm

A bar in the centre of Brighton has been ordered to close for a month and will no longer have a 24-hour licence when it re-opens.

VaVoom, in the Old Steine, will shut from midnight on Sunday and has been told to replace its management.

The changes follow complaints from Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council environmental health officers.

A council licensing panel reviewed the licence today and ordered the closure and the changes.

When VaVoom re-opens its hours will be 10am to 11.30pm from Sunday to Thursday and 10am to 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The panel was told that the premises licence holder had been working with the police on measures to prevent crime and disorder.

Councillor Dee Simson, who chaired the panel, said: “We were satisfied that the premises licence holder had been co-operating with the police and agreed to make a fresh start with new management.

“A break of four weeks will enable the necessary measures to be put in place.

“The panel did not think it was appropriate for this premises to continue with the 24-hour licence.”

Green councillor Pete West, who sat on the panel, said: “VaVoom’s license was reviewed by the panel in light of its appalling record on all counts.

“Bad management led to persistent and shocking problems, including assaults, unchallenged thefts, underage drinkers and alleged drug abuse on site.

“The crime and disorder arising from the bar meant that the police wanted to see this place closed down.

“This bar has been very poorly managed.

“Many other responsible premises show how simple measures help run a good bar which contributes to the night-time economy without negatively impacting the local community.”

The panel was told that the incidents at VaVoom had been continuing since January last year and included a disproportionate number of thefts for a small venue.

The police report listed

  • 31 thefts in 11 months and some thefts not being reported
  • Criminal damage arising from drunkenness
  • Traces of cocaine in the toilets
  • A former duty manager charged with drug use
  • No checks made on the number of people in the club, leading to the premises being filled above the safe capacity
  • Children on the premises
  • Staff being intoxicated

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