POLICE are opposing moves to transfer the alcohol licence of the closed Spanish Arch pub to new owners because doing so would “seriously undermine crime prevention”.
Funky Brownz, a north London bar and restaurant chain, assumed the lease of the Irish pub in Belmont Circle, Kenton Lane, from the Claddagh Ring Group last month and subsequently applied to take over the existing permits that regulate everything from opening times to the sale of alcohol and dancing to late night refreshments.
However, Harrow Police's licensing officer Sergeant Carl Davis has objected to the move, sparking a review by the Harrow Council's licensing panel to be held on Thursday (March 17) at Harrow Civic Centre in Station Road, Harrow.
He wrote in his objection: “Police consider that there are exceptional circumstances regarding this application and consider that granting the application would seriously undermine the crime prevention objective.”
Barnet Council has conducted two licensing reviews of Funky Brownz's premises in Colindale after concerns were flagged up by the authority's environmental health department and Barnet Police.
At the last one, in April 2009, councillors were told there had been at least one stabbing in connection with the nightspot and local police had been called out 11 times in the space of a month to reports of violent offences, disorder and offensive weapons, and after one nasty fight outside the bar in which two police officers were injured, an 24-hour emergency closure order was granted by a judge at the request of the police.
In his submission to Harrow Council, Sgt Davis said he was also concerned Funky Brownz wanted to name Shrayash Patel as the new dedicated premises supervisor, despite him being convicted, fined and disqualified for drink driving in February last year at Hendon Magistrates' Court.
The licensing officer wrote: “Police have serious misgivings as to whether this company/applicant should be granted transfer onto this licence and request the applicant be rejected.”
One of the Funky Brownz bosses, a Mr Patel, told the Observer: “Funky Brownz in Haringey is very successful and Funky Brownz in Hendon is very successful. Why are the police mentioning incidents which are three years old in one of the branches, in Hendon? It's not right. It's absolutely ridiculous.”
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