A NOTORIOUS nightclub had its opening hours slashed after a bout of violent incidents including the stabbing of a 17-year-old boy and a firebomb threat.
After a four hour hearing on Monday (3), councillors decided to cut back the sale of alcohol and playing of music at the Tudor Rose, in The Green, Southall, from 6am to 2am, despite fears by its owner Ursula James that it would ruin her business.
Police applied for an emergency suspension of its license last month following a concentration of incidents between August 28 and September 2 inside or near the Caribbean club, which has a capacity for 600 people.
They included three counts of grievous bodily harm (GBH), one of actual bodily harm (ABH) and common assault, and a tip-off from an anonymous caller that the club might be firebombed on September 2.
PC Christopher Jones said the security staff failed to report incidents to police on numerous occasions. "One thing that is clear is the lack of control from the Tudor Rose. We're routinely called for the dispersal of 300, 400 people," he said.
"There has been a reluctance to actually call the police and report the incident, and a lack of input to the police from the DPS (designated premises supervisor) or staff to report incidents on the dancefloor, very near the club or inside."
At the hearing CCTV footage from council-owned cameras showed a group of youths being threatened outside the club by a broken bottle. Minutes later, armed officers from the Met's Trojan team are seen storming onto the scene.
Jeffrey Israel, legal counsel for the club, warned slashing the opening hours would condemn the future of the business as many of the club's Afro-Caribbean clientele do not arrive until 2am. He also noted the absence of submissions from residents in the police evidence.
Mrs James has owned the club for 15 years. Despite failures to download CCTV evidence on police request, she said she has always been willing to co-operate with police, volunteering to close the club on several occasions, and since employed a new security team.
She said: "The Tudor Rose has been in existence for 25 years. We cater for all creeds and colours be it Asian, West Indian or Irish - everybody. We're known throughout the world.
"I'm sorry some of our patrons have let us down, we will do everything to stop this happening. We cannot stop them from fighting but can ask them to behave. I will do everything to work with the police."
Councillor Kate Crawford, chairing the licensing sub-committee, said: "The panel felt the reduction of hours will particularly deter a certain client group and thereby encourage the local community to attend. If it continues to be a problem a review could be called in by the police and we could make more draconian measures."
The conditions state that Mrs James must complete a licensee training course, all patrons must be searched with a metal-detecting wand before entering, and no entry or re-entry is permitted after 1am.
The club is due to reopen by the end of the month if an appeal is not lodged.