A pub on Croydon High Street has been forced to close as punishment for refusing to listen to previous police advice concerning gang-related violence.
Croydon Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee suspended The Crown and Pepper‘s licence on November 5, after police were forced to use special measures to close the pub a few weeks earlier, on October 19.
The decision was made because the pub’s management refused to close the pub after police were called to deal with an assault on a staff member in the early hours of October 18. The police say that the bar-tender has gang ties and the perpetrator is a rival gang member.
Following this, police were called to a related incident on nearby London Road where there was a mass brawl and nine individuals were arrested. Police believe that the two incidents are linked and gang related.
In documents submitted to the Licensing Sub-Committee, police describe the actions of the two rival Tamil gangs known as the Jaffna Boys and the Tooting Tamils on October 18.
Croydon’s Licensing Unit advised the management of the Crown and Pepper to close the pub on October 19 after concerns that reprisal gang attacks could take place, but the management declined to do so.
The Met police announced further punishments for the pub on Tuesday, these include changing its premises supervisor and a review of its security arrangements under the terms of an amended licence.
Chief Inspector Duncan Slade, who leads the police Licensing Unit in Croydon said: “Licensed premises in Croydon have a duty of care to their customers and the public to keep them safe and help prevent crime at their premises. We tried to get the Crown and Pepper’s management to voluntarily close following the two incidents in October, but they were more concerned about cancelling reservations than public safety.”
“We will not hesitate in using the powers available to us to close any licensed venue if we feel there is serious risk of disorder and crime, which was the case here.”
In a statement on their website, the management of the Crown and Pepper said: “We agreed to accept all of the conditions set by the council and the police, unfortunately the police felt it was necessary to take punitive measures in order to close the pub for a period of two weeks.”
“This to set us, as an example to all licenses in Croydon to always follow their commands, therefore in the next two weeks we will be renovating the pub and the business will be open once again, from the 20th November!”