Agenda item

Licensing Act 2003 application for review of a premises licence - Rose Inn, 1-3 Catherine Street, Rochester, Kent




The panel heard an application for a review of the premises licence in respect of the Rose Inn, 1-3 Catherine Street, Rochester.


The Senior Licensing Officer informed the panel that in accordance with Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003, the Council had received an application from Kent Police for the review under three of the licensing objectives, namely the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance.


The police stated that the reasons for the review were as follows:-

·        A serious assault had taken place inside the premises on 8 February 2011 causing injuries which were to be prosecuted as grievous bodily harm (gbh)

·        The victim was taking Warfarin tablets and the incident could have caused a lot more harm than it actually did

·        This serious issue, and CCTV footage, showed that the pub was not under control by the bar staff prior to, during and after the assault

·        The police had not been called following the incident and this also highlighted the poor management. The bar person did not even call an ambulance

·        CCTV footage also showed people smoking inside the premises, who were also clearly drunk at the time of the incident and yet were continued to be served more alcohol

·        The problems at the premises began on 19 July 2010 when the previous Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) left the employment of Riverside View Ltd but remained as the named DPS of the Rose Inn, even though he no longer had any day to day dealings with the premises

·        Following information about the assault, the police visited the premises on 8 February 2011 and the leaseholder (who lived at the premises) refused to speak to the police, which was completely unacceptable behaviour.


As part of the application, the police asked the panel to consider the various courses of action in the following order:

Ø      revoke the premises licence, or

Ø      suspend the premises licence for 3 months and impose the conditions set out in the application, or

Ø      suspend the premises licence until the conditions set out in the application are complied with to the satisfaction of the police or the Licensing Authority.

The panel then viewed a section of CCTV footage showing the assault and following few minutes in the bar after the incident until the victim regained consciousness.

Mr Walker (solicitor) representing the management company Riverside View Ltd., responded that this had been a one-off incident at a premises with no previous problems by an individual with known violent behaviour. The victim had also been drinking upstairs (he lived at the premises) and there were no visible signs of bleeding or damage to his face on the CCTV footage. There were no members of the public in the bar at the time, or admitted, as the door was locked. These were all outside issues and not down to the alleged
mis-management of the premises.


The police responded that this property was a licensed premise that had to comply with the Licensing Act 2003 and there had been a complete lack of management on the premises, which showed that the pub was out of control at that time. The DPS had resigned on 19 July 2010 and the council and the police had not been informed about this. This meant that in reality he had no day-to-day control or management of the Rose Inn and neither of the other leaseholders were Personal Licence Holders which meant that the sale of alcohol was taking place without any licensed person on the premises.


Mr Walker responded that as far as Riverside View Ltd. was concerned, there had been an informal agreement between the previous Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) and the leaseholder which would continue until another DPS was identified to take over at the premises. Since the meeting in July 2010, the leaseholder had recently passed an exam as a Personal Licence Holder and another DPS had been established. He advised that every effort had been made to keep all the responsible authorities informed and that the CCTV footage had been handed over immediately. The leaseholder had spoken to the victim as soon as he had found out about the incident and had reported it to the police on behalf of the victim.


The panel asked:


·        what enquiries had been made and found out during the visit of 8 February 2011?

·        for confirmation whether there had been a young child in the bar area before the time of the assault

·        how did the police become aware of the assault?

The panel was advised that the police had inquired about the assault and more general licensing questions during the visit on 8 February 2011. When asked for the premises licence, the barman on duty was unaware of its location and the summary document was also not on display. The leaseholder was asked and he directed officers to the top of cupboards in the kitchen. The police confirmed that a child had been present in the bar before the incident and was unable to answer how they had become aware of the assault but presumed that the ambulance service had advised them.


Mr Fairless, a director of Riverside View Ltd., outlined his background and experience in the licensing trade together with his position in the company. He advised that it was his job to lease the premises and keep an overview on the management of the building. He visited the Rose Inn at least once a month but more usually on a fortnightly basis and someone else from the company visited every week. He advised that in his opinion the premises were well run. He had carried out the induction training for the current leaseholder and was aware that the previous leaseholder had agreed informally to remain as the DPS until such time the current leaseholder, or someone else, took it over. The current leaseholder had now taken and passed his Personal Licence Holder (PLH) exam.


The panel asked the leaseholder why he had not taken his PLH exam sooner and noted that this had only happened since the assault? The leaseholder replied that he had been studying for the exam and was anxious to ensure that he passed it first time, due to the costs involved. The leaseholder was also asked when he had become aware of the incident and responded that it had been on the following morning, when he had immediately contacted the victim. After they had spoken, he reported the assault to the police with the victim’s agreement.


The panel asked Mr Fairless why, when he had become aware that the DPS was no longer around, did he not check that a new DPS had been appointed? Mr Fairless responded that it had always been the intention that the current leaseholder would become the DPS and with hindsight this had not been done in a timely manner. It remained his understanding that there was an informal agreement for the previous leaseholder to remain as DPS.


The panel asked the current leaseholder when he took over the lease in July 2010 whether he was aware that a DPS should be present in the premises? The leaseholder responded that he had been aware about his own licence but had been unaware about the DPS – although he knew that now. He advised that he had previously booked to take the exam in September 2010 but had cancelled it for reasons he could not remember. He then responded to the Chairman’s request to name the four licensing objectives.


The panel and Mr Fairless then discussed the problems that the police and the council had encountered when trying to contact the company and it was explained that the company wished to avoid creditors. The police advised that they had no record of having received the letter shown on the last page of the agenda.




The panel agreed to suspend the Premises Licence of the Rose Inn, 1-3 Catherine Street, Rochester until such time as the conditions shown below are complied with to the satisfaction of the Licensing Authority or the Licensing Officer for Kent Police in Medway.


The following conditions are attached to the Premises Licence (in addition to those already on the licence):


1.      A Personal Licence Holder to be present and working within the trading area of the Licensed Premises throughout the hours that the premises is open for licensable activity;

2.      Any member of staff supplying alcohol must take and pass the BII Responsible Retailer course within three months of commencing employment;

3.      At least one registered first aider must be on the premises and working whenever the premises is open for licensable activity;

4.      A first aid kit must be readily available in the premises that complies with Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981;

5.      All members of staff must be trained in conflict management within three months of commencing employment;

6.      All staff, who are employed at the premises in a paid or unpaid capacity in relation to licensable activity shall have individual training records that detail the date and nature of the training, including copies of all training material;

7.      These training records will be kept on the premises and will be available upon request to any police officer or Local Authority Licensing Officer when the request is practicable. Training records for current employees must be kept for a period of two years;

8.      A logbook will be kept detailing all incidents and refusals that occur at the premises. This will be a bound book which will detail the following:-


·        the day, date and time of the incident

·        the member of staff making the entry

·        all members of staff involved in the incident

·        an account of the incident

·        details of any persons injured and the injuries sustained

·        the duty manager or supervisor will check and sign the logbook every shift;

9.      No children under the age of 18 years will be allowed on the premises after 21:00 hours;

10.When the premises are open to the public or a section of the public, unless in exceptional circumstances, CCTV should be used to monitor the licensed premises;

11.CCTV to be installed to a standard agreed by the police and in accordance with CCTV Code of Practice. The system is to be maintained and serviced on a regular basis. The system must incorporate a recording facility and all recordings must be stored for a minimum of one calendar month, normally 28 days, and access to these recordings must be made available to Police and Local Authority officers upon request when the request is reasonable and practicable;

12.A member of staff who is fully trained in the use of the CCTV system including the retrieval of stored or recorded data, unless in exceptional circumstances, will be available throughout the hours that the premises is open for licensable activity and can provide a copy of any stored or recorded data in a form that can be taken away and viewed at another location.

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