Essex pub loses licence after alleged lock in puts ‘public in danger’

A pub in Tiptree, Essex has lost its license following a breach in coronavirus restrictions which was said to endanger the public.

Colchester Borough Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee revoked the premises licence at The Anchor Pub in Tiptree, after it committed offences which ‘placed the public in danger.’

Complaints were made by members of the public regarding an alleged “lock-in”, however, the premises owner claimed they have never had, nor ever will have a lock-in.

Police officers visited the venue for inspection on August 1, 2020, where they found a lack of social distancing measures in place for outdoor tables. They also noted that one of the indoor tables had more than 6 people seated.

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A few months later, on December 18, when Tiptree was under tier 2 restrictions, police officers attended the venue where members of the public believed that the pub was hosting a ‘lock-in.’

On arrival, police noticed that the blinds were down, doors locked and loud music was playing from the inside. Officers described the pub as having a “party atmosphere”.

As a result of the incidents, Colchester Borough Council has decided to revoke the pub’s license.

In reaching its decision, the Sub-Committee at the council examined all documents submitted, including the relevant body-worn camera footage provided by Essex Police, and considered all representations made at the hearing, which took place on Tuesday, March 9.

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Colchester Borough Council said the Sub-Committee was particularly concerned by the offences that had been committed under Coronavirus regulations.

Evidence provided by Essex Police demonstrated that in addition to undermining the prevention of crime and disorder licensing, members of the public attending the premises had also been placed in danger, undermining the public safety licensing.

Councillor Mike Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “This decision is confirmation of our commitment to taking action to help protect the public. We will take decisive action against those who commit offences and breach licensing laws.

“This offence is compounded by a disregard for the international pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives and added intense strain to the NHS. We are grateful for the support and partnership work undertaken by Essex Police to bring this evidence to the sub- committee.”

Chief Inspector Jon Evans, District Commander for Colchester, added: “Although we understand that this is a challenging time for our communities, it is important that we all continue to stick to the regulations.

“We will continue to work with our partners to keep our residents safe and where license holders show disregard, enforcement action will be considered.”

Although consideration was given to the other options available, the Sub-Committee said that they ‘did not feel that any option other than revocation of the premises licence, was appropriate to address the serious breaches of regulations that had occurred.’

Essex Live – Colchester