Council impose tough new conditions on town centre bar and music venue

Last month members of Hastings Borough Council’s Licensing Committee met to review the license of Crowley’s Bar in Havelock Road – the committee has now made its recommendations and they are far-reaching with the bar having had its weekend opening hours slashed from 2am to midnight.

Representatives of Crowley’s had asked to remain open past midnight and hold live events once a week in order to ‘build and maintain a reputation’ as a live venue, but this has been denied. Instead they can only do so two Saturday’s per month, subject to two week’s advanced written notice and police approval.

Crowleys in Havelock Road.

The bar’s owner, Alan Naylor, who also owns Tin Tins and the Pig’s Palace, has said the tough new rules may put the future of Crowley’s in jeopardy as hosting live events just twice a month would make the bar no longer financially viable.

When the licensing committee met, it reviewed 58 pages of police reports that had been submitted for the review, with police making special note of an incident involving the laceration of a woman outside of the bar after it had already closed. Two incidents of sexual assault occurring nearly a year apart were also highlighted even though the victims were supported by the bar’s staff.

The so-called ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme – a codeword customers can give to staff if they feel unsafe or threatened – has now been put in place by the bar and its staff suitably trained to follow it.

Further conditions include a full upgrade to the site’s CCTV. The bar is now also required to make use of an incidents book, in which any and all incidents relating to the bar must be logged. A refusals register is also now required, in which any refusal for entry or service and their reasons will be also be logged.

The committee’s decision in full:

  1. CCTV: Digital CCTV and appropriate recording equipment to be installed in accordance with Home Office Guidelines relating to UK Police Requirements for Digital CCTV System, operated and maintained throughout the premises internally and externally to cover all public areas, including the entrance to the premises. The system shall be turned on and recording at all times the premises licence is in operation.
  2. The CCTV cameras and recording equipment must be of sufficient quality to work in all lighting levels inside the premises at all times.
  3. CCTV footage will be stored for a minimum of 28 days.
  4. The management will give full and immediate cooperation and technical assistance to  Sussex Police in the event that CCTV footage is required for the prevention and detection of suspected or alleged crime.
  5. The CCTV images will record and display dates and times and these will be checked regularly to ensure their accuracy.
  6. Subject to Data Protection guidance and legislation, the management of the premises will ensure that key members of staff are fully trained in the operation of the CCTV cameras and recording equipment and will be able to download selected footage onto a disk for the Police without difficultly or delay and without charge to Sussex Police.
  7. Any breakdown or system failures of the CCTV cameras and recording equipment will be notified to Sussex Police immediately and remedied as soon as practicable.
  8. Security Industry Authority (SIA) registered door staff will be employed at the premises from 21:00hrs until half an hour after the premises has closed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s plus Bank Holidays, New Year’s Eve, public holidays and at any time when a temporary event notice is in operation.
  9. An incident book will be kept and maintained at the premises and made available for inspection by Sussex Police Licensing Officers and Local Authority Officers on request. This incident book shall be solely used for the purpose of recording incidents.
  10. The incident book will be maintained by the premises showing a detailed note of incidents that occur in the premises. The incident book will be inspected and signed off by the Designated Premises Supervisor (or a person with delegated authority from the Designated Premises Supervisor) at least once a week.
  11. The incident book should be kept on the premises and be available for inspection at all times the premises are open by Sussex Police Licensing Officers and Local Authority Officers. An incident will be defined as being one which involves an allegation of a criminal offence.
  12. Feedback shall be given to staff to ensure these are used on each occasion that a refusal incident occurs at the premises.
  13. A refusals register will be kept and maintained at the premises and made available for inspection by Sussex Police Licensing Officers and Local Authority Officers on request. Any refusals made for alcohol service eg underage, will be recorded in the refusals register (to be kept in either electronic or written form) and feedback given to staff as relevant. The records within the register will be kept at the premises for a minimum of twenty-four (24) months.
  14. A Personal Licence Holder shall be present at all times when the premises is open to the public.
  15. All staff shall have written authorisation from the Designated Premises Supervisor or Personal Licence Holder to permit them to sell alcohol.
  16. Staff will contact Sussex Police as soon as is practicable if there is evidence of drug use or suspected drug use within the premises.
  17. Zero tolerance notices in relation to drug use will be prominently displayed throughout the premises and a drugs policy will be drawn up and implemented by the management to the satisfaction of Sussex Police.
  18. A challenge 25 policy shall be in operation at the premises and staff will be suitably trained to implement this policy.
  19. No noise generated on the premises from music, patrons or any mechanical equipment shall emanate from the premises, nor vibrations be transmitted through the structure of the premises, that may give rise to a nuisance at any noise sensitive premises from 11:00 until closing time.
  20. Notices shall be prominently displayed at all exits requesting patrons to respect the needs of local residents and businesses and leave the area quickly and quietly.
  21. The Designated Premises Supervisor or nominated person will monitor the impact on neighbouring premises throughout any regulated entertainment and therein take action to reduce noise levels if they can be heard at the nearest residential property.
  22. Any queue to enter the premises which forms outside the premises shall be orderly and supervised by door staff so as to ensure that there is no public nuisance or obstruction to the public highway.
  23. Reduction of hours:
  24. The sale of alcohol, recorded music, live music and dancing to be reduced by two hours from 02:00hrs to midnight Thursday to Saturday.
  25. The sale of alcohol, recorded music, live music and dancing to be permitted until 01:00hrs on a maximum of two Saturdays per month subject to Sussex Police being provided with written notice not being less than 30 days of each occasion the premises will be open until 01:00hrs.
  26. No further customers to enter the premises in additional to those already within the Premises between midnight and 01:00hrs on any Saturday where the hours are extended to 01:00hrs.
  27. There will be promotion of a range of non-alcohol brands by giving increased exposure on the bar to non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits. A minimum of 25 low or non-alcoholic products (excluding minerals) will be on sale at the premises.
  28. An ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme shall be in operation at the premises and staff will be suitably trained to implement this scheme.
  29. Staff to receive appropriate training around alcohol safety awareness (including customer vulnerability). All staff to complete the Drinkaware Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning course within 3 months of commencing employment.”

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