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Police successfully apply to revoke a second nightclub’s licence in Kingston

James Rankin

Monday 27th January 2014. At a hearing before the Licensing Sub-Committee of The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, The Metropolitan Police successfully applied to revoke Barcadia’s premises licence following review proceedings. James Rankin appeared for the police at the hearing. The review had been triggered by a glassing in the premises on Christmas Eve. Police acted swiftly and lodged expedited summary review proceedings. Following these proceedings, the interim step of suspension of the licence was imposed on 30th December 2013.

At the standard review hearing on 27/1/14 the LSC heard evidence of an emerging trend of violence at the premises which had already been the subject of other review proceedings in April last year at which the LSC had imposed a raft of 23 additional conditions. An existing condition required all sales of drink to be in polycarbonate containers after midnight. Amongst other arguments presented by the operator’s counsel was one that there was no evidence that this condition had been breached because there was nothing to gainsay that the glass and its contents had been served before midnight. The LSC was unimpressed by this argument. In any event, said the operators, they would immediately change all glassware to polycarbonate. The LSC also heard evidence of other alleged breaches of conditions together with increasing numbers of violent incidents.

The LSC ordered that the interim suspension should continue. The effect of this is that, following the Administrative Court decision in R (OTA) 93 Feet East v London Borough of Tower Hamlets [2013] (in which James Rankin also appeared), the premises will remain closed pending appeal.

This is the second successful review that the police have brought against high profile premises in Kingston. James Rankin also appeared for the police in December 2013 when Essence Nightclub faced expedited summary review proceedings following a large scale fight involving thirty people outside the premise on The Riverside, some of whom armed themselves with scaffold poles. Serious head injuries resulted. An interesting aspect of the case was an analysis by the police of the customers who attended the premises that night. The club’s Scannet system which recorded the details of all who were present through photographic ID revealed that 54% of them were “known” to the police. The club, which was only open two nights a week, had 31 incidents recorded against it since March 2013. 17 of these included offences of GBH. The LSC ordered an immediate suspension of the licence on 10/12/13. At the full review hearing on 6/1/14 the licence was revoked and it was ordered that the interim suspension should remain in place. The club cannot trade pending any appeal.