Sundowners licence to be reviewed due to police concerns over ‘violent disorder’

Police have requested a licence review

A review of the premises licence for Sundowners in Margate will take place next week.

Thanet area commander for Kent Police, Chief Insp Sharon Adley has requested the review of the licence held by Duncan Bayles due to concerns about an increase in violent crime recorded at the Albert Terrace venue.

Ch Insp Adley says: “Sundowners is situated over three floors and due to its layout means that security staff must at all times be vigilant, being aware of congregation points outside their natural line of sight.

“On Sunday, August 6 police were called by Duncan Bayles to attend a large fight which was taking place within the premises – violent behaviour had spread across all floors. Police attended and suspects have been arrested and interviewed. A number of crime reports have been recorded relating to this one incident, namely violent disorder, two reports for actual bodily harm, one for wounding with intent. The violent disorder is subject to an ongoing investigation.

“This was a violent episode that put both staff and customers in danger. No-one appeared to take control of the situation and the staff appeared to be vastly outnumbered.”

Rise in recorded crimes

Ch Insp Adley says police have held meetings with Mr Bayles on several occasions and that between January 1 and September 9 this year there have been 28 recorded crimes at the bar, or linked to the bar, with 17 of them committed after 1am.

She says that since Mr Bayles took over as the designated person in charges of the premises in August 2015 there have been 55 recorded crimes at the venue, 32 of them violence against another person.

From 2003 until August 2015 there were a total of 39 recorded crimes at the site.

Licence conditions

Ch Insp Adley says the police want several conditions imposed on the premises licence, including a new designated premises supervisor – removing Mr Bayles from the role – the sale of alcohol ending at 12.30pm; premises closure at 1am and no admission after midnight.

Additionally, no drinks to leave the bar area; removal of pool cues and balls after 9pm due to offenders having used them in assaults; drinks in plastic ‘glasses’ after 9pm and a minimum of three security staff, all wearing body cameras.

Thanet council members of the sub-licensing committee will discuss the licence next Tuesday (November 21).