Kettering nightclub has bid to extend opening hours rejected
A Kettering nightclub has failed in its bid to extend its opening hours.
Remi’s in Dalkeith Place - which currently closes at 4am on Fridays and Saturdays - wanted to stay open until 5.30am with licensable activities ending at 5am.
But a licensing committee meeting at Kettering Council’s offices yesterday (Thursday) heard that the club has seen a string of serious incidents of violence and sexual offences, and granting an extension would only make things worse.
Northants Police’s licensing sergeant Martin O’Connell told the committee that a man was assaulted in the club and found covered in blood on June 25.
On July 30, a man was found to be in possession of cocaine in the toilet area and just after midnight a doorman was found to be in possession of a knuckleduster.
He claimed he had found it during an earlier incident in Leicester, but Sgt O’Connell said there was no evidence of this and it “brought his intention into question”.
On August 29, a 16-year-old girl was so intoxicated that she fell asleep in a bus shelter.
She claimed she was not asked for ID on entry or when ordering drinks at the bar.
On the same evening two women reported being groped in the club.
On October 9 a man was assaulted on the dancefloor and on October 23, a woman alleged that she was raped by a man she met in the club.
Sgt O’Connell said: “Northamptonshire Police are of the opinion that the risks to the public are greater if these licensing hours are extended.
“The later the night goes on the more risk there is.”
Representing the applicant Longdrinks Ltd, Leo Charalambides said it was unfair that the police chose to “cherry-pick” the incidents and said the club would add a number of conditions if the application was granted.
He said: “Any premises in the night-time economy will have issues.
“It seems to me to be grossly unfair that the police cherry-pick incidents and take them out of context.
“The fact that a victim of crime drank in the premises does not make them culpable.”
Longdrinks Ltd said that if the application was granted, they would increase the number of CCTV cameras, put up zero tolerance to drugs posters and operate a ‘No ID No Entry’ policy, rather than their current Challenge 25.
But after 30 minutes of deliberation, the application was refused.
Chairman of the committee Cllr Margaret Talbot (Con, Rothwell) said: “I have listened to the representations from the police and Mr Charalambides and we have decided that this application to vary the premises licence will be refused.”