Comment by: Paul Lamb
Focus area: Pubs
Regulator concerned: My comments are general and do not relate to a particular regulator or regulatory function
Letter 1 23/6/2012
To whom it may concern,
I have written to a number of people regarding the treatment we receive off [text deleted]Wales Police. The antisocial visits and harassment we have received have escalated. [text deleted]
[Text deleted] seven police and council workers came to our public house to do licensing checks. [text deleted]
• There was a check of the toilets, I don’t know what for.
• A weights and measures check, we appreciate the need of them, but could have been done at any time of day, it is embarrassing and rude of them to come in on a Friday night.
• Checking to see the premises license and my personal license, which has always seemed unnecessary to me because the council and police are the ones who issued them. After 5 years they should know who I am and what pieces of paper I have got.
• They even asked me if I searched customers as they came into the public house, what on earth would I want to search people for? Why would anyone want to go in somewhere where they had to be searched?
• They persist that the use of bouncers is of benefit. My experience tells me that would encourage problems and be financially unsustainable. I stand on the door monitoring the customers every Friday and Saturday night. This sort of policy is for town or city centre pubs or clubs with high numbers of customers and takings. This is a small pub on the edge of town, selling real ale! where is the perspective? There is many people I know who wouldn’t come into a pub that has bouncers on the door.
I have already expressed to the licensing authorities and police that we object to them coming to our premises at busier times unless absolutely necessary, due to the harmful impact it has on our business. However they have been visiting more and more. We have had 7 police visits in [text deleted] 3 weeks, amounting to 17 police (council officers) altogether, for a period of approximately half an hour each visit. That is eight hours just dedicated to our public house. It is an unacceptable waste of public money. We have had a large group of people leave the pub as a result of the visit, so they are hindering our trade too. People said they will never come to Wales again after coming out to find the police and council out in such force.
You don’t have to be a mathematician to work out that they cannot possibly be applying this much attention to all public houses in the country. We run an award winning free house in a little town in [text deleted] Wales. Between the management and senior staff we have 60 years of licensing experience. We strive for excellence.
Please can you explain if and why the government is spending so much money on this? I would like to know how many other public houses have had this level of attention [text deleted]? Who decided it was a good idea to give licensing to the council authorities? Who is protecting us? This sort of bullying would not be allowed in a work place, so why should we have to suffer it? We have written to everyone we can think of, the only thing we have left is the media and a solicitor to claim for loss of trade and damage to our health due to stress.
What worries me is we don’t think the authorities will stop until they close us down. They have already admitted to us that they believe there are too many pubs in [text deleted] and are targeting what they decided were “problem pubs” crudely singled out by their numbers of phone calls to the police, this is clearly prejudice. To clarify we telephoned up the police 6 times in a year which put us on a list of a 100 problem pubs to be targeted in [text deleted]. These calls were conscientiously in the interest of assisting police with the prevention of antisocial behaviour and nothing to do with the way we run the pub- two were hoax calls from our public phone and a call on behalf of a neigbour unrelated to the pub.
We employ a lot of staff, including the bands, people come here from all over the country and abroad. It would make a lot of people very unhappy if [text deleted] was closed down. Please do something about this, if you can’t please point us in the direction of someone who can. We need help with this before you lose another Great British pub.
Also sent to HRH The Prince of Wales
The Publican’s Morning Advertiser