The licensing officer presented their report. Members had no questions for the licensing officer.
The Metropolitan Police Service representative, the applicant for the review addressed the sub-committee. Members had questions for the police.
The licensee, the designated premises supervisor and their legal representative addressed the sub-committee. Members had questions for the licensee, the designated premises supervisor and their legal representative.
Both parties were given five minutes for summing up.
The meeting adjourned at 11.46am for the sub-committee to consider its decision.
The meeting reconvened at 12.48pm and the chair advised all parties of the decision.
The council’s licensing sub-committee, having considered an application made under section 53A of the Licensing Act 2003 by the Metropolitan Police Service for the review of the premises licence in respect of K-Che VIP Latin Club, First Floor, 512-516 Old Kent Road, London SE1 5BA, and having had regard to all relevant representations, decided to modify the conditions of the licence by adding the following conditions to the licence:
1) No bottles or glassware are to be taken onto the dancefloor area of the premises;
2) Polycarbonate jugs of water with sufficient polycarbonate cups are to be provided at all tables and regularly refilled;
3) That the CCTV system provides full coverage of all public areas, to include all parts of the upstairs including seating areas, a CCTV camera is placed so that it gives a clear facial image of all customers leaving the premises;
4) One member of staff be designated to ensure all persons are entered on the ID Scanning system when entering through the front gate, and that there is no re-entry except for staff.
5) Staff shall ensure that all patrons leaving the premises disperse in an orderly fashion and shall inform management of any issues they observe within the vicinity of the premises.
The sub-committee noted with approval the premises licence holder’s undertaking to avoid the use of single-use plastics where possible.
The sub-committee noted paragraph 2.1 of the Guidance, to the effect that licensing authorities should look to the police as the main source of advice on crime and disorder. They shared the concerns of the police and the licensing team that a serious incident had occurred on the premises involving a bottle being thrown while an altercation occurred. They took account of the fact that the incident had occurred in the dancefloor area of the premises, where flashpoints are perhaps more likely.
However, the sub-committee also took account of the licence holder’s submissions (see paragraph 11.10 of the Guidance) that where problems are identified, the licence holder should be given early warning and an opportunity to work with the responsible authorities to put matters right before any review takes place. The sub-committee accepted on balance that the respondent was unaware of the bottle-throwing and noted that security staff had acted quickly to deal with the altercation itself.
The sub-committee noted that it was not disputed by the police that, although some incidents of violence associated with the premises had occurred since the current licence holder took them over, there had nevertheless been an overall reduction in the number of such incidents.
The sub-committee considered with care (as required by paragraph 11.23 of the Guidance) what action would be proportionate in the circumstances and took account of evidence from the licence holder as to the financial impact of prohibiting the sale of half-bottles of spirits.
They also noted (pursuant to the Equalities Act 2010) the evidence from the licence holder as to the drinking and dancing culture within the Latin American community which is catered for by these premises.
Overall, the sub-committee decided that although there remain concerns about the premises, in particular the risk of violence associated with heavy drinking, the licence holder should be given a chance to demonstrate that the premises can be responsibly managed and the risks reduced whilst maintaining the current practice of serving half-bottles of spirits and bottles of wine or beer.
In order specifically to promote the licensing objective of the prevention of crime and disorder, the sub-committee decided that is was both necessary and proportionate to impose additional conditions on the licence as set out in section 1 above, in order to assist the licence holder to maintain proper control at the premises.
This decision is open to appeal by either
a) The applicant for the review
b) The premises licence holder
c) Any other person who made relevant representations in relation to the application
Such appeal must be commenced by notice of appeal given by the appellant to the justices’ clerk for the Magistrates’ Court for the area within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified by this licensing authority of the decision.
This decision does not have effect until either
a) The end of the period for appealing against this decision; or
b) In the event of any notice of appeal being given, until the appeal is disposed of.
Review of interim steps pending appeal
At the conclusion of the review hearing the licensing sub-committee reviewed the interim steps to determine which interim steps were appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives, pursuant to section 53D of the Licensing Act 2003. The sub-committee concluded that these interim steps were appropriate:
· CCTV to be upgraded so all parts of the upstairs are covered including seating areas, and a CCTV camera is placed so that it gives a clear facial image of all customers leaving the premises;
· One member of staff be designated to ensure all persons are entered on the ID Scanning system when entering through the front gate, and that there is no re-entry except for staff.
The interim steps are open to appeal by:
a) The chief officer of police for the police area in which the premises is situated; or
b) The holder of the premises licence
Such appeal must be commenced by notice of appeal given by the appellant to the justices’ clerk for the Magistrates Court for the area within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified by this licensing authority of the decision.