Kettering bar could be banned from holding youth events after disorder

Bar Seven.
Bar Seven.

Police have called for a review of the premises licence at a Kettering bar after a series of incidents at a youth event.

On March 31 this year, Bar Seven in Carrington Street held an event for under-18s.

The event was due to run until 11pm but by 9pm police had received reports of underage drinkers in the street, with one 16-year-old’s parents contacted after they vomited.

Officers who attended the event say 250 youngsters were inside and many more were waiting to get in.

They say that the venue had ‘lost control’ over the queue with no system, no searching for alcohol, people blocking the road and many screaming and shouting.

Those inside were free to go out and come back in without being searched again.

The event was then shut down after capacity was reached and more youngsters had breached a gate in the back garden.

Police argue that once shut down the venue closed its door and ‘washed their hands’ of the incident, leaving more than 200 youths in the street.

Disturbances continued with bottles being thrown and some youths trying to climb over a police riot van.

The sheer number of children involved meant police officers, supervisors and inspectors from Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough had to attend.

One male was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and police said more could have been but the scale made it impractical.

In the licensing review application for The Angel - the licence for which Bar Seven operates under - PS Martin O’Connell says: “It is the view of Northamptonshire Police that a failure in event planning, in having adequate staffing and of complacency by the management to these high-risk events has led to significant crime and disorder in Kettering town centre and seriously undermined the protection of children from harm.

“Managing young persons in what is essentially a night-time economy situation brings extra risk due to vulnerability and the potential for high spirited and misguided adventure from this age group.

“They will try to sneak alcohol into these events or have planted it somewhere nearby, they will potentially pre-load on alcohol and existing peer rivalries and tensions can easily be aggravated in these situations when youths from all over a wide area come together in unsupervised surroundings.

“Fortunately we have no reports of serious injury and no serious crime has been committed but to any bystander this situation would have caused harrassment, alarm and distress and cause a significant amount of stress and disruption to the policing of Kettering and the surrounding areas that night.”

Police have recommended that no under 18 events should be held at the venue with a further licence condition that under 18s cannot enter the venue unless for a private function, where they are supervised by someone older than 21.

Representations can be made on the application until May 4.

They should be made in writing to Kettering Council’s licensing department, by email or by calling 01536 534291.