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Silks 177-181 Rushey Green SE6 4BD

Decision:

Silks, 177-181 Rushey Green, Catford, SE6 4BD

Lewisham LBC, Licensing Committee

Application for summary review ­– interim steps decision

 

DECISION NOTICE

 

1.    The Metropolitan Police (“the Police”) have submitted an application for a summary review of the premises licence for Silks, 177-181 Rushey Green, Catford, SE6 4BD (“the Premises”) on the grounds that it is associated with serious crime, or serious disorder or both. 

 

2.    The premises licence is held by Walk Safe Security Services Ltd (“the PLH”).  The Designated Premises Supervisor (“DPS”) is Sharna Johnson.

 

3.    The Licensing Sub-Committee held a remote hearing using Microsoft Teams on 7 November 2022 to consider whether it was necessary to take interim steps pending the determination of the summary review.  The Sub-Committee decided to suspend the licence with immediate effect.

 

4.    On 8 November 2022, the PLH’s legal representative submitted representations against that interim step.  As a result, the Licensing Authority was required to arrange a hearing within 48 hours of receipt to consider those representations.

 

5.    A hearing before the Licensing Committee was arranged for 9am on 10 November 2022 and began shortly after 9am.  Prior to the beginning of the hearing, the Licensing Authority had not received any communication from the PLH or their legal representative indicating an intention to withdraw those representations.

 

6.    The PLH did not attend the hearing.  Their legal representative explained that they were stuck in traffic on the M25 on the way to his office and therefore he was seeking an adjournment.  The Licensing Committee considered that request but declined it, on the basis that the PLH could have attended the hearing remotely without any difficulty and that they must have been able to give instructions to their legal representative in order to make the representations.

 

7.    The PLH’s legal representative then stated that he would withdraw the representations and re-submit them subsequently.  The Committee was advised that, as the hearing had begun, and the representations had not been withdrawn before the hearing, the hearing needed to proceed and the Committee had to make a determination on interim steps.

 

8.    The PLH’s legal representative made submissions against the use of suspension on the basis that it was disproportionate, the incident on 30 October 2022 had been resolved within a few minutes and the Police had not adequately investigated the incident.  He also made the point that he had not seen the CCTV referred to in the Police’s application.

 

9.    The Police also made representations.  They described the incident and submitted that it justified an immediate suspension of the licence.

 

10.  The Committee’s decision is to continue the suspension of the licence.  Its reasons are as follows:

 

·         It shared the concerns of the Sub-Committee as set out in its decision dated 7 November 2022.  The premises licence had only recently been revoked and this incident occurred the following weekend.

 

·         The Committee was mindful that there are two sides to the story and was conscious that it had not heard and seen all of the evidence from this incident.  However, they noted that it was not disputed that an incident had occurred.

 

·         In these circumstances, the Committee considers it is necessary to continue the suspension of the licence in order to avoid the risk of further incidents happening at the Premises until all the facts can be considered at the final hearing.  The Committee’s view is that, however they are managed when they occur, incidents of crime and disorder should not be allowed to happen in the first place.  The Committee is concerned that the PLH may not have adequate measures in place to prevent these incidents from occurring and that the risk of someone being seriously injured is high.  Therefore the Committee is satisfied that an immediate suspension continues to be necessary in this case.

 

11.  This decision takes effect immediately and therefore the Premises is required to remain closed.  The PLH is entitled to make representations against this interim step but only if there has been a material change of circumstances subsequent to this decision.  If representations are received, the Council will consider whether there has been a material change of circumstances before holding another hearing to consider those representations and whether suspension (or any other interim step) is necessary.

 

 

Minutes:

3.1      The Chair welcomed all parties to the Licensing Committee. She introduced those present. She then invited Mr Lewin to introduce the application.

 

            Introduction

 

3.2     Mr Lewin said that members were being asked to make a decision on interim steps.

 

3.3      Following an application for a summary review of the Licence for Silks, a meeting of this Committee was held on 27 October 2022 and the decision of this hearing was to revoke the premises licence.

 

3.4      Police advised this authority that in the early hours of the morning on 30 October 2022, there was an incident at the premises. They made an application for a summary review on basis that the premises had been associated with serious crime and disorder. A meeting of this Committee was held on 7 November 2022 to consider this application. The decision was to suspend the licence as an interim step.

 

3.5      The Premises Licence Holder had made representation to appeal the interim steps. Mr Lewin advised that the decision made by this Committee would be a holding measure until a final hearing of the summary review application was held within the next three weeks

 

            Applicant

 

3.6      Mr Dadds asked for the meeting to be adjourned. The Chair asked for legal advice because her understanding was that a hearing needed to be held within 48 hours. Mr. Lewin advised that the rules state that a hearing must be held within 48 hours of receipt of representations against the interim steps. It was not clear whether this meant that the hearing needed to be concluded and a decision made within 48 hours.

 

3.7      Mr Dadds said that he could withdraw the representations and resubmit them later. However he preferred the hearing to be adjourned so that a new date could be arranged which would be suitable for all parties. The reason for his request was because he had been unable to meet with his client before this hearing. His client had been forced to drive to his office because there was a tube strike and had been held up in traffic due to protestors on the motorway. He needed his client to be in his office in order to take instruction.

 

3.8      The Chair asked Mr Lewin whether the absence of Mr Dadds’ client, warranted an adjournment of the meeting. Mr Lewin asked to speak to members in private. Mr Dadds and Mr Renno left the meeting. When they returned, the Chair advised that the hearing would not be adjourned. She said that Mr Dadds’ client had not attended for the previous three meetings and was surprised that his client had not joined the hearing remotely. Mr Dadds said that his client had been with him for the previous three hearings but had not joined the earlier hearing because it was considered that remote hearings were unlawful.

 

3.9      Mr Lewin advised that rules state that if the holder of the premises licence makes but does not withdraw their representation against interim steps, the authority must hold a hearing to consider the representation. These representations had not been withdrawn before the meeting started. He advised that the hearing should therefore continue and the Committee make a decision on the representations.

 

3.10    Mr Dadds did not agree with this advice and believed that he could ask for an adjournment. He said that he had attempted to contact Governance support before the meeting began but did not receive a response. This was noted by members. Mr Dadds said that he wished to withdraw the application. Mr Lewin said that, as the hearing had started without the representations having been withdrawn, Mr Dadds could make representations in addition to the evidence in the agenda if that was his intention.

 

            Application

 

3.11    Mr Dadds said that he wished to withdraw the application. Members had the certification. His client had been unable to attend the meeting and an adjournment had been refused. He asked the Chair whether she had seen the CCTV evidence. She confirmed that she had. Mr Dadds said the incident had been resolved within a minute or two. It did not involve a member of staff. There had been an altercation outside the premises which door staff resolved quickly. Mr Dadds had not seen the Council footage but had seen the club CCTV. The Police had not been to the premises to ask for the club scan data, no complaints were received from a member of the public, the Police had not investigated the incident or asked management what happened. There was CCTV evidence of the two individuals who had been fighting. The incident was not considered to be serious crime and disorder or warrant an expedited review. Although he had not heard from all of the councillors, he felt that the Council had been hostile towards him, but said that could have been due to the meeting being held remotely. If the incident had been serious, he would have expected the Police to have visited the premises by now.

 

3.12    Mr Dadds confirmed that he would withdraw the application, to enable his client to attend and be heard by members of the Committee.

 

3.13    Councillor Shrivastava said that the account of the incident that took place on 30 October 2022, by the Police and Mr Dadds were different. The latter referred to a small incident that ended in 2 minutes. Mr Dadds clarified that on the CCTV it could be seen that from when the pushing and shoving between individuals started it lasted a couple of minutes. It was resolved by security staff quickly and professionally. In the Police report, it suggested that security had been involved in the fight. This was not correct.

 

            Representation

 

3.14    Superintendent Renno said that on 3 November 2022, Police were made aware of CCTV evidence of violent crime and disorder outside Silks on 30 October at 04.19. There was no knowledge of this prior to 3 November and there had only been one cad report. There was no crime report, and it was only when Police reviewed CCTV evidence on 3 November, that they were aware of the incident.

 

3.15    Superintendent Renno said that, as highlighted by Mr Dadds, Police would have to look at club scan, and review the club CCTV.

 

3.16    It was the view of the Police, that whether the incident took 2 minutes or half an hour, it was still a crime. Patrons exited the club, and a fight took place immediately. The cause of the fight was not evident but the result of this fight was that one patron was left prone in the middle of the road. The reason for the application for an expedited review was that the incident was violent disorder involving a considerable number of people fighting amongst themselves. The extent of the injuries could not be seen but it was serious enough for one patron to be lying in the road for some time.

 

3.17    The violent incident took place outside Silks nightclub and involved patrons from the club. Police applied for an expedited review of the licence because of the history of the premises, the violent disorder that took place and concerns that further incidents could take place.

 

3.18    Councillor Jackson said that in the premises licence holder’s representation, the DPS had stated that since her appointment on 19 July 2022, there had not been any serious incidents at the premises other than the recent incident which occurred on the morning of the 30th October 2022. He asked the view of the Police on this statement. Superintendent Renno said Police manage incidents as they arise. CCTV showed violent disorder. Despite a change of DPS a pattern of behaviour was continuing and was of concern to the Police.

 

3.19    Councillor Kestner asked the Police whether Silks advised them about the incident or whether it was seen when watching the CCTV. Superintendent Renno said that Police received a call from security at the venue. No crime report was made. Police officers undertook a drive by some time later. There were limited resources in the early hours of 30 October and no Police officers were available to attend the scene.

 

3.20    Councillor Shrivastava asked what the procedure was following a crime. Superintendent Renno said that best practice would be for Silks to contact the Police and explain the incident. However, Police should have written a crime report. The premises were doing their duty in calling the Police.

 

Conclusion

 

3.21    The Chair invited the parties to sum up.  Mr Dadds said that management at Silks called Police. There will always be matters of disorder or crime at a licensed premises. The response to these incidents was important. The fight was dealt with very quickly within 2 minutes. Patrons were dispersed and the Police were called. The Police did not come on the evening of the incident although there was a drive by. They had not asked for the club scan, or the CCTV, or the images of the two individuals fighting, there had not been an incident since July and it was dealt with very quickly and professionally. There was a suggestion that the staff were involved in the fight. This was not correct. The incident was not a reflection of the professionalism of the management of the premises or the professional door team. 

 

3.22    In conclusion, Mr Dadds considered that suspending the licence was disproportionate. There was one incident, the Police did not have a crime report, it had not been investigated and there was not a named Police officer in charge of the investigation. There had not been any complaint from members of the public. He believed that the CCTV from 30 October 2022, was being used as an excuse by Police to cause the premises even more harm. He said the he had made his point clear that he did not consider remote licensing hearings to be lawful

 

3.23    Superintendent Renno said that Police did not believe that security were involved in the fight. Security staff tried to intervene but were not effective because of the numbers of patrons involved. Police were concerned that there was violent disorder which was associated with the premises historically and recently and continued to be so. The fact that Police did not attend the premises and a crime report was late, did not take away from the fact that a violent disorder took place outside the premises which involved patrons. A well-managed premises would prevent violent disorder and ensure that it did not continue.

 

3.24  The Chair said that she was satisfied that members of this Committee had read and heard all the information required to make a decision.  Members confirmed that they had been present throughout the meeting and had not experienced internet disruptions.  

 

 

            RESOLVED that it was necessary for the premises licence for Silks 177 – 181 Rushey Green Catford SE6 4BD to remain suspended until a final hearing of the application for summary review.

Silks, 177-181 Rushey Green, Catford, SE6 4BD

Lewisham LBC, Licensing Committee

Application for summary review ­– interim steps decision

 

DECISION NOTICE

 

1.    The Metropolitan Police (“the Police”) have submitted an application for a summary review of the premises licence for Silks, 177-181 Rushey Green, Catford, SE6 4BD (“the Premises”) on the grounds that it is associated with serious crime, or serious disorder or both. 

 

2.    The premises licence is held by Walk Safe Security Services Ltd (“the PLH”).  The Designated Premises Supervisor (“DPS”) is Sharna Johnson.

 

3.    The Licensing Sub-Committee held a remote hearing using Microsoft Teams on 7 November 2022 to consider whether it was necessary to take interim steps pending the determination of the summary review.  The Sub-Committee decided to suspend the licence with immediate effect.

 

4.    On 8 November 2022, the PLH’s legal representative submitted representations against that interim step.  As a result, the Licensing Authority was required to arrange a hearing within 48 hours of receipt to consider those representations.

 

5.    A hearing before the Licensing Committee was arranged for 9am on 10 November 2022 and began shortly after 9am.  Prior to the beginning of the hearing, the Licensing Authority had not received any communication from the PLH or their legal representative indicating an intention to withdraw those representations.

 

6.    The PLH did not attend the hearing.  Their legal representative explained that they were stuck in traffic on the M25 on the way to his office and therefore he was seeking an adjournment.  The Licensing Committee considered that request but declined it, on the basis that the PLH could have attended the hearing remotely without any difficulty and that they must have been able to give instructions to their legal representative in order to make the representations.

 

7.    The PLH’s legal representative then stated that he would withdraw the representations and re-submit them subsequently.  The Committee was advised that, as the hearing had begun, and the representations had not been withdrawn before the hearing, the hearing needed to proceed and the Committee had to make a determination on interim steps.

 

8.    The PLH’s legal representative made submissions against the use of suspension on the basis that it was disproportionate, the incident on 30 October 2022 had been resolved within a few minutes and the Police had not adequately investigated the incident.  He also made the point that he had not seen the CCTV referred to in the Police’s application.

 

9.    The Police also made representations.  They described the incident and submitted that it justified an immediate suspension of the licence.

 

10.  The Committee’s decision is to continue the suspension of the licence.  Its reasons are as follows:

 

·         It shared the concerns of the Sub-Committee as set out in its decision dated 7 November 2022.  The premises licence had only recently been revoked and this incident occurred the following weekend.

 

·         The Committee was mindful that there are two sides to the story and was conscious that it had not heard and seen all of the evidence from this incident.  However, they noted that it was not disputed that an incident had occurred.

 

·         In these circumstances, the Committee considers it is necessary to continue the suspension of the licence in order to avoid the risk of further incidents happening at the Premises until all the facts can be considered at the final hearing.  The Committee’s view is that, however they are managed when they occur, incidents of crime and disorder should not be allowed to happen in the first place.  The Committee is concerned that the PLH may not have adequate measures in place to prevent these incidents from occurring and that the risk of someone being seriously injured is high.  Therefore the Committee is satisfied that an immediate suspension continues to be necessary in this case.

 

11.  This decision takes effect immediately and therefore the Premises is required to remain closed.  The PLH is entitled to make representations against this interim step but only if there has been a material change of circumstances subsequent to this decision.  If representations are received, the Council will consider whether there has been a material change of circumstances before holding another hearing to consider those representations and whether suspension (or any other interim step) is necessary.