Nightspot given six weeks to improve

A POPULAR nightspot has been given six weeks to improve its act after police raised concerns about a catalogue of violent incidents.

The Showroom, in Hartlepool’s Victoria Road, has seen a rise in the number of incidents over the past 12 months leading to Cleveland Police losing patience with the venue.

Officers had submitted an application, including a dossier highlighting 24 separate violent incidents, to Hartlepool Borough Council asking for a review of its premises licence.

It included assaults on men and women inside the venue, revellers being glassed and people being punched and head-butted.

But ahead of a crunch meeting to decide its future, Showroom bosses and police developed an action plan in the hope of improving the situation.

The council’s licensing act sub-committee, which met this week, agreed to adjourn the meeting for six weeks.

The current premises licence holder for the venue is 1st Leisure Limited and the designated premises supervisor is named as Craig Wilkinson, who did not attend the short meeting this week.

Mr Wilkinson did not wish to comment after the meeting.

Ian Harrison, the council’s principal trading standards and licensing officer, said: “The police informed the sub-committee that they had been in negotiations with the licence holder and an action plan had been implemented.

“Both parties requested an adjournment for six weeks to see whether the action plan has a positive affect.

“In six weeks the committee will reconvene to see whether any formal action is required.”

If the review does go ahead in six weeks, then the council has a range of options including revoking the licence.

Other options include taking no action, modifying the conditions on the licence, exclude a licensable activity from the licence or suspend the licence.

The Showroom opened in September, 2010 and officers said the venue did not cause any real concerns to start with.

But by August, 2011 officers became concerned about violent incidents, poor quality CCTV and insufficient door supervisors to cover a two-floor building and met with the premises licences holders.

A course of action was agreed, which included the venue updating police of any further incidents, but officers say the situation did not improve and again raised concerns about the lack of communication.

That led to Cleveland Police requesting a review of the premises licence due to specific concerns about the number of violent incidents associated with the premises, the quality of the CCTV system, access to the premises via the beer garden and insufficient door supervisors.

The current licence allows for a range of activities including the supply of alcohol between 10am and 4am Monday to Sunday, and late night refreshment between 11pm and 4am seven days a week.