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14th June 2012

BRIDPORT: Town centre bar hit with closure notice

By Paul Crompton

A TOWN centre bar was slapped with a closure notice at the weekend. The doors were slammed shut on Bridport’s No 10 café/bar after a closure notice was issued on behalf of the district council’s license control team.

The café/bar re-opened again hours later following an inspection by a Bridport police officer on the morning of June 10th.

The latest incident at the East Street bar has caused its owner Paul Hindes to think about closing it after years of fighting to keep the bar open has taken its toll.

West Dorset District Council (WDDC) senior licensing officer Jenna Rawle said Dorset Police had found two breaches of the licence conditions and issued a section 19 notice.

She said: “An officer of the district council’s Licensing Team carried out a number of planned routine joint inspection with Dorset Police on Saturday night. One of the premises attended was No 10 in East Street, Bridport.”

The closure notice was issued at 12:10am last Sunday because of a lack of CCTV coverage and the breeching of a capacity control order.

Mr Hindes denied the CCTV system was faulty, instead blaming data protection law which bans the televised part of the system being viewed by the general public.

The 68-year-old also questioned how the capacity count was undertaken – claiming some customers had reported being counted up to three different occasions on the night.

He said: “The officer claimed the CCTV wasn’t working but it was, it’s as straight forward as that. 

“If there had been a problem we could still have fulfilled all the requirements of our license.

“If we have too many people in we can control that within minutes but she was more worried about the CCTV.

“I live about 90 seconds away and if they had called me I could have demonstrated it working, but the officer put a closure order on the bar instead.

 “On a Saturday night we are where the young people go, they are lively but we police it and the kids know the score: misbehave and you’re put out the door.”

He added: “At the moment I’m so depressed about things I’m considering closing the front door and going on holiday because this latest incident has really annoyed me.”

The bar has been at centre of a number of concerns including drunken behaviour and overcrowding since opening 12 years ago.

In 2010 WDDC licensing committee license stopped people entering the venue after 1am, limited its capacity to 60 customers and demanded an effective CCTV was installed.

A Section 19 is a closure order from s19 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. They can be used where unauthorised sale of alcohol are or have occurred in the last 24 hours.

 In this instance the sale of alcohol would be unauthorised as was not in accordance with the licence (as it was not adhering to the conditions of the licence).

PICTURE: ANNOYED - No 10 proprietor Paul Hindes was forced to close his bar on Saturday night

BRIDPORT: Town centre bar hit with closure notice


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