An application has been received from Kent Police for an Expedited Review of the premises licence at Fleur De Lis, 46 Gillingham Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 4RR. The Act requires expedited premises licence review applications to be considered within 48 hours, pending a full hearing of the issues within 28 days of the date that the application was served. In this case, the interim steps were agreed at a hearing held on 22 July 2020 where it was determined that the premises licence for Fleur De Lis be suspended, pending the full review hearing, which is the matter before the Panel.
The Chairman asked the Licensing Manager to outline the matter before the Panel. The Licensing Manager stated that, in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003, the Council had received an application for an expedited review from Kent Police in relation to the premises licence for Fleur De Lis, 46 Gillingham Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 4RR, as the premises had been associated with serious crime and disorder. She explained that the Licensing Act 2003 required expedited premises licence review applications to be considered within 48 hours to consider what interim steps should be taken, pending a full review hearing within 28 days of the date that the application was served.
The Licensing Manager stated that the interim steps had been agreed at a hearing held on 22 July 2020, where it was determined that the premises licence for Fleur De Lis be suspended, pending the full review hearing, which was the matter before the Panel. The steps that the Panel could consider taking were:
(a) the modification of the conditions of the premises licence;
(b) the exclusion of licensable activities from the scope of the licence;
(c) the removal of the designated premises supervisor from the licence;
(d) the suspension of the licence;
(e) the revocation of the licence.
The following documents were included in the main agenda pack: -
A supplementary agenda had been published on 7 August 2020, which included the following documents:
PC Hill explained that an incident of serious crime and disorder had occurred at the premises on Sunday 19 July for which there was an ongoing investigation. A list of previous incidents at the premises notified to Kent Police was included in the supplementary evidence pack.
The Panel resolved to exclude the press and public from the hearing to enable CCTV footage of the incidents on 19 July 2020 to be shown. Two offences were being investigated in relation to the incident, the first being an assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) and the second more serious assault occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH). In addition, the crime scene had been cleaned following the incidents, although since the previous hearing it had been established that this was carried out by customers and not by members of staff. The Panel viewed CCTV footage of the incidents taken from different cameras. PC Hill said that the lack of intervention or reporting by staff at the premises was of particular concern to the Police.
The press and public were readmitted to the hearing and PC Hill advised that he had met with the licensees and their daughter, Ms Smith, on 28 July and 5 August 2020. He referred to pages 9 and 10 within the supplementary agenda which detailed the conditions proposed by Kent Police that he requested be attached to the licence. These were as follows:
The register must be kept on the premises and will detail
· Day, date and time of incident
· Nature of incident
· Each entry is to be checked and signed by the DPS/Licensee no later than 1 week after the entry has been made.
The register must be made available to Police, Police Licensing Officers and authorised officers from the Local Authority either electronically or hard copy
- Only plastic/polycarbonate drinking vessels shall be used at the pub
- When Kent Police grade a match as requiring police resources then a minimum of 2 SIA registered door supervisors shall be employed at the premises at least 3 hours prior to kick off and at least one hour after the end of the match. All door supervisors employed shall wear high visibility jackets or vests
- Kent Police will notify the licensee of the grading of any fixture no less than 7 days prior to the event.
Kent Police are also seeking the removal of Clive Smith as the Designated Premises Supervisor.
PC Hill said that he understood the licensees agreed to the proposed conditions with the exception of number 7.
PC Hill called Acting Inspector Steven Bassett as a witness and he explained his role as a Football Intelligence Officer on match days. He explained the different categories of matches as follows:
1. PF: Police free games
2. Spotters only: Neighbourhood approach, 6 officers
3. Category A: Possible risk element, 1 Sergeant and 6 Police Constables
4. Category B: 1 Police Support Unit (1 Inspector, 3 Sergeants, 27 Police Constables
5. Category C: Numerous Police Support Units
6. Category C+: Numerous Police Support Units plus mounted Police and dog units etc.
Ms Smith questioned why Kent Police had not raised the issue of door staff with the licensees adding that the Police had directed away supporters to the pub. PC Hill responded that, for big matches, premises would be asked what additional measures they would put in place. The Police would not tell licensees how to run their premises but would expect them to conduct risk assessments to sufficiently manage the situation.
In response to questions from Panel members, PC Hill advised that the Police would inform the licensees of the category of matches for the coming season, and would advise them of any change at least 7 days before a match. Acting Inspector Bassett said that door staff would be appropriate for category A, B, C and C+ matches which was expected to amount to 6 matches over the coming season. PC Hill added that some premises were more proactive than Fleur De Lis and employed door staff for higher risk matches. If premises signed up to the Safer Medway Partnership, door staff would be able to contact the Police through the scheme rather than by calling 999.
At this point Acting Inspector Bassett left the hearing.
PC Hill highlighted some of the incidents that had occurred at Fleur De Lis and had been notified to Kent Police, as detailed in the supplementary agenda. He reiterated that the lack of reporting of these incidents by the licensees or their staff was of particular concern to the Police and that the proposed conditions would improve safety at the premises without being too onerous to implement.
Ms Smith questioned PC Hill about some of these incidents which she did not consider were the fault of the premises or were only minor incidents. She also questioned the appropriateness of employing door staff as there had been many occasions when the premises had been frequented with many fans from big football clubs without there being an incident. Rather, they had been praised by the fans. She added that it had already been decided to stop customers going outside of the premises with glass vessels and an incident book would be maintained. PC Hill responded that the incidents were all taken from the Police’s system.
In response to a question from the Panel regarding the Police directing away supporters to the premises, PC Hill said that, if asked by away supporters which pub they should visit, the Police would direct them to Fleur De Lis as it accepted away fans. Other licensees had specifically requested the Police not to direct away fans to their premises. Ms Smith advised the Panel that the Police had approached the premises to become the designated ‘away’ pub. If restrictions were placed on the licence, such as a requirement to employ door staff, they would have to consider whether they wished this to continue.
Asked if there was a higher level of anti-social behaviour at Fleur De Lis than other pubs, PC Hill said that the Police were constantly policing the pub on match days with no preventative measures being put in place by the licensees to mitigate the risk of incidents occurring.
Cllr McDonald, representing Cllr Prenter who had submitted a representation in support of the premises, questioned PC Hill who confirmed that, since the photograph of the premises outside area had been taken a fence had been erected around the area. For a category C match, the Police would not request that the premises, or any other premises, close their doors as that was a decision for the individual businesses. However, premises would be advised of the extreme risk.
Next, Ms Smith responded to the Police’s application for a review. She reiterated that the premises had been used by away fans on match days for 7 years with very little trouble. Her parents were due to retire in 9 months and she had already been assigned as the new Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS). She repeated that glassware would not be permitted outside the premises and a 4 foot fence had been erected for outside drinking. Training manuals and an incident book were already in place and the CCTV at the premises had been upgraded. Mr Smith added that they had on occasion assisted the Police by providing CCTV footage of incidents that were not to do with the Fleur De Lis.
Supporting the premises, Cllr McDonald said that he did not support the non-reporting of crime. However, he believed the licensees had worked hard to prepare for reopening should this be permitted by the Panel. Like many pubs, they had struggled financially during lockdown and needed to reopen. He stressed that the premises were embedded within the community and held many charitable events.
There being no questions from Kent Police, the Panel questioned the licensees about the incident on 19 July 2020.
Summing up, PC Hill stressed the severity of the incident on 19 July 2020. The change of DPS to Ms Smith would provide another layer of accountability which was welcomed. The licensees had agreed that no glassware would be permitted outside the premises but the Police were seeking clarity around football matches. On match days the licensees wanted customers to be permitted to drink in the street and this was a concern to Kent Police. Employing SIA door staff would help. PC Hill concluded that the Police were not seeking the revocation of the premises licence.
Ms Smith said that if two door staff were required on match days and customers could not drink outside, the premises would not be a designated pub for away supporters and the Police would be asked not to send away supporters to the premises.
The Panel resolved to exclude the press and public from the meeting during the Panel’s deliberations and decision making and the Chairman advised parties to the hearing that the Panel’s decision would be sent to them in writing.
1. In considering the application for an expedited review of the premises licence for Fleur De Lis, 46 Gillingham Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 4RR, the Licensing Hearing Panel had regard to the Licensing Act 2003, the statutory guidance issued under S182 of the Act, the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and all matters before it, both written and oral.
2. In view of the seriousness of the incident on 19 July 2020 and the concerns expressed by Kent Police, the Panel decided to remove Mr Clive Smith as Designated Premises Supervisor and add the conditions proposed by Kent Police to the premises license for Fleur De Lis, as set out above but amended in bold as follows:
5. The licensee shall ensure that no customers will take glassware drinking vessels from the premises to consume outside in the street.
7.When Gillingham Football Club are hosting a
category B, C or C+ home fixture there is a requirement that
for 3 hours prior to kick off and
at least for
one hour s after the end of the
- Only plastic/polycarbonate drinking vessels shall be used at the pub
Kent Police grade a match as
requiring police resources
category B, C or C+ then a minimum of 2 SIA registered door
supervisors shall be employed at the premises at least
for 3 hours prior to kick off and at least for
one hour after the end of the match.
All door supervisors employed shall wear high visibility jackets or
- Kent Police will notify the licensee of the grading of any fixture no less 7 days prior to the event.
3. The Panel determined that the interim steps imposed at the Licensing Hearing Panel meeting held on 22 July 2020 shall cease with immediate effect.