The Police legal representative led Sergeant Higgins through his statement, dated 20 November 2013, relating to a serious incident that occurred at the premises on 27 October 2013.
Sergeant Higgins responded to questions in relation to the operation of the premises, historically and currently, and provided information in relation to conditions that the Police sought to add to the existing premises licence in order to ensure that the four Licensing Objectives were not undermined.
Sergeant Higgins responded to questions from Members and the Licence Holders legal representative.
The Police legal representative confirmed that Cleveland Police were not seeking to revoke the licence or to remove the DPS. The Police considered that the addition of the proposed stringent conditions would ensure that the licensing objectives were promoted and not undermined.
Premises Licence Holder
The legal representative acting on behalf of the Premises Licence Holder presented the case in support of the premises and referred to the conditions proposed by the Police. It was confirmed that the Premises Licence Holder was agreeable to the additional conditions.
It was confirmed that there were no further questions from any interested parties and the Premises Licence Holders legal representative and Cleveland Police both confirmed that they did not wish to sum up as they had already covered everything.
At this point all interested parties and officers of the Council, other than representatives of the Councils Legal Services and Members Office, withdrew whilst the Committee determined the review.
Subsequently, all interested partied returned and the Chair announced the Committees decision.
ORDERED that the suspension of the Premises License in respect of Club Bongo International, 11-12 Bridge Street West, Middlesbrough, Ref No: MBRO/PR0052, be lifted to permit the following licensable activities:-
Regulated Entertainment - Monday to Sunday 11.00am to 3.30am.
Late Night Refreshment - Monday to Sunday 11.00pm to 3.00am.
Sale of Alcohol (on and off sales) - Monday to Sunday 11.00am to 3.00am;
subject to the following conditions, as agreed with Cleveland Police:-
That there shall be a minimum of three SIA registered door staff on duty at any time the premises was open, with an additional fourth door staff member on duty should the function room be open.
Door staff shall not perform any other task other than that of a member of door staff, for example, the DPS shall not count as a member of door staff.
The door staff shall be easily identified as such and display their SIA badges on high visibility arm bands.
All members of staff on the premises shall be easily identified as such by wearing clothing which clearly displays the word 'STAFF' in large letters.
Persons entering the premises shall be subject to random searches for the prevention of drug misuse.
Persons entering the premises shall be subject to random searches for possession of knives or other weapons.
The premises shall have a minimum of two hand-held metal detectors on the premises to assist with searching.
The number of random searches conducted each night shall be recorded in the incident book.
In relation to CCTV:-
9.1 A digital Closed Circuit Television System (CCTV) that meets the approval of the current Chief Licensing Officer of Cleveland Police will be installed and maintained in good working order and be correctly time and date stamped.
9.2 The system will incorporate sufficient built-in hard-drive capacity to suit the number of cameras installed, whilst complying with Data Protection legislation. CCTV will be capable of providing pictures of evidential quality in all lighting conditions, particularly facial recognition.
9.3 The system will retain a minimum of 31 days recording.
9.4 The system will incorporate a means of transferring images from the hard-drive to a format that can be played back on any desktop computer. The digital recorder will have the facility to be password protected to prevent unauthorised access, tampering, or deletion of images.
9.5 The CCTV system will record at all times when the premises are open to the public.
9.6 There will be, at all times, a member of staff on duty who is trained in the use of the CCTV equipment and, upon receipt of a request for footage from a governing body, such as Cleveland Police or any other responsible authority, be able to produce the footage within a reasonable time, eg 24 hours routine or immediately if urgently require for investigation of a serious crime.
9.7 The CCTV system shall, as a minimum, cover:-
i) The exterior of the front door on Albert Street.
ii) The exterior of the side exit door on to Bridge Street West.
iii) The smoking area.
iv) The entrance foyer.
v) All internal rooms and corridors open to the public.
9.8 The positioning of the cameras shall be to the satisfaction of the current Chief Licensing Officer of Cleveland Police.
9.9 The CCTV system shall incorporate two hard-drives which both record the same camera system so that, in the event of a failure or one of the machines, the second machine will have recorded the footage.
9.10 There shall be a physical inspection of the CCTV recording machines to ensure that they are working at the commencement of each evenings opening hours.
9.11 There shall be a written record made in the incident book of all such inspections detailing the time and date the inspection was conducted along with who by and any issues with the equipment.
10. Polycarbonate/plastic drinks containers will be used at all times when the premises operate for licensable activities.
11. A member of staff trained in administering first aid to the satisfaction of the current Chief Licensing Officer of Cleveland Police must be present on the premises at all times that the premises is open to the public.
12. A first aid box must be retained within the premises at all times, the contents of which comply with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, and any amending Regulations.
13. The club shall uphold its duty of care to any injured customers by conducting an assessment of their medical needs. This shall be undertaken by either the DPS or the on duty manager of the club.
14. All injuries to the customers and any subsequent assessment of their medical needs shall be recorded in the incident book along with what action was taken.
In reaching the above decision Members had considered the following:-
The Committee considered the representations from both parties, taking into account the four licensing objectives of The Licensing Act 2003.
The Licensing Act 2003 (and Amended Government Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Act).
Middlesbrough Council's Licensing Policy.
The conditions proposed by Cleveland Police and agreed between all parties.
The Committee acknowledged that the Police had not requested the removal of the Designated Premises Supervisor and that a number of meetings had been held between the Police and the Designated Premises Supervisor since the suspension of the Licence, in order to find a way forward for the Club to operate and uphold the Licensing Objectives.
The Committee was now satisfied that the suspension could be lifted and the stringent conditions proposed by the Parties were appropriate to uphold the Licensing Objectives.
The proposed conditions, in summary, included searches for weapons and drugs, comprehensive detailed CCTV requirements, easily identifiable door staff and other staff members, polycarbonate / plastic drinks containers and generally a duty of care to customers.
The Committee considered that these conditions were appropriate to uphold the Licensing Objectives because of the historical failure to comply with CCTV requirements, previous problems with door staff and previous incidents including the serious incident on the 27 October 2013 at the Premises.
Current conditions which were inconsistent with the new conditions were to be removed from the Premises Licence, namely:-
i) Condition 36 under "Public Entertainment Licence Conditions made by the Middlesbrough Borough Council ..." relating to Security Industry Authority as this reproduces a Mandatory Condition under the Licensing Act 2003.
ii) Condition 37 under "Public Entertainment Licence Conditions made by the Middlesbrough Borough Council ..." as this is inconsistent with the times licensable activities are permitted under the Licence.
iii) Condition 42 under "Public Entertainment Licence Conditions made by the Middlesbrough Borough Council ..." in relation to a first aider as this has been replaced by a new condition.
iv) Condition 1 under "Licensing Objectives Prevention of Crime and Disorder" relating to door supervisors as this has been replaced by a new condition.
v) Condition 4 under "Licensing Objectives Prevention of Crime and Disorder" relating to CCTV as this has been replaced by a new condition.
vi) Condition 3 under "Licensing Objectives Public Safety" relating to toughened glass as this has been replaced by a new condition regarding polycarbonate / plastic containers.
vii) Condition 8 under "Licensing Objectives Public Safety" relating to a first aid box as this has been replaced by a new condition.
The Committee strongly advised that regular meetings be held between the Police and the DPS at the premises over the next few months whilst the premises re-opened and the new conditions came into force.
The Chair advised all parties of the Right of Appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision.