Drugs and sex attacks may cost Portslade bar its licence

Posted On 22 Aug 2014 at 3:59 pm

A bar on Portslade seafront may lose its licence after Sussex Police raised concerns about drunkenness, drug use and sexual assaults.

The force has applied for a review of the premises licence for the Harbour View, in Wellington Road, Portslade.

It will present evidence to a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel and ask it to decide whether the premises should be allowed to stay open.

Sussex Police said that officers had become concerned about the way that the bar was being run, adding: “The latest licence for the bar was issued to its owner in October 2013 but since then there have been a number of incidents of concern associated with the premises.

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“Among them have been assaults on police officers called to disturbances involving underage Harbour View customers, children being sold alcohol and reports of women being sexually assaulted.

“Licensing officers have found traces of cocaine in both public and private areas of the venue and heroin in a public part of the venue.

“Two people living in the flat above the venue that belonged to the owner were arrested for immigration offences in November.

“There have also been recorded breaches of the conditions of the licence, including a lack of working CCTV, no training records being available and no evidence that toilets were being regularly checked.

“On (Monday) 28 July, during a test purchase operation, a member of staff sold alcohol to a 16-year-old girl.

“Not only was the child not asked to prove she was at least 18 but she was offered the chance to buy doubles rather than singles.”

Sergeant Simon Morgan, the Brighton and Hove licensing supervisor for Sussex Police, said: “Submitting a review application is the last course of action we will take on our stepped approach to enforcement.

“However, the serious nature of the incidents at the premises have left us with no other option.”

Jean Irving, the force’s licensing and public safety manager, said: “Due to the number of times officers have compelled the owner of Harbour View to adhere to the conditions of the licence, without success, I believe there is no alternative other than to ask the licensing committee to give serious consideration to revoking the premises licence of the venue.

“Despite numerous interventions by our officers and Brighton and Hove City Council, there have been continued failures by the management and staff to promote the licensing objectives, which are designed to protect children from harm and prevent crime and disorder.

“The management has shown a clear disregard to the conditions of the licence.

“This is unacceptable and we will not stand by while people are being put at risk because of behaviour inside the venue.”

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