Police fail in bid to close Loco Lounge in Chingford

Council decide to reduce bar's opening hours

Council decide to reduce bar's opening hours

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A bar which police called for to be closed over late-night violence can continue trading after its opening hours were cut following a review.

Loco Lounge in Station Road, Chingford, has survived a bid to shut it down over disorder and claims management withheld CCTV footage of a fight.

A heated licensing committee sub-committee meeting on Thursday saw lawyers representing the bar and police clash over the future of the bar.

Members today have announced opening times will be cut from 2am to 12.30am, with no alcohol sold or music played after midnight.  

As part of the conditions, licensee Natalie Keefe and designated premise supervisor (DPS), Kerry O’Reilly, must continue using Clubscan, an ID card scanning system recently installed at the venue.

The technology highlighting potential trouble-makers barred from other venues was only used at weekends, but must now be operational at all times.

Any Clubscan data requested by police must be handed over within 24 hours of a request.

Loco Lounge, which opened in October 2012, has said it will appeal the sub-committee’s decision.

During the appeal process, the bar can continue trading until 2am at weekends. 

The sub-committee reached its decision after reports of disturbances within the vicinity of th bar after midnight.

Police said they had “no faith in the management’s ability to operate responsibly”  following a delay in disclosing CCTV of a mass brawl. 

David Dadds, representing Loco Lounge, told the committee the CCTV of a fight on May 31 was handed to the police within 24 hours of a data protection form being filled out by licensing officer PC Donna Wilcox on June 26 - 20 days after it was first requested by police.

He also accused police of singling out Loco Lounge after two other licensed premises nearby had a similar number of police call-outs, and said they were misusing CCTV for a “fishing expedition” of potential licence breaches.

Mr Dadds said: “Police wanted it (CCTV) to investigate crime so we released the CCTV on that basis, not so they can then misuse it at an administrative hearing.

“They’re trawling through hours of CCTV footage and looking for breaches of licence and then using it against us.”

Loco Lounge and PC Wilcox have been contacted for a comment. 

For more on this story, see this week's Guardian - out Thursday

Comments (4)

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3:21pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

Kerry O'Reilly the same person who 'was excellent manager' at Mojoes and now running this place and the David Dadds behind their legal team. What has Chingford done to deserve this?

I hope the spineless Licensing Committee will take full responsibility for whatever disaster ensues as a result of their weakness.
Kerry O'Reilly the same person who 'was excellent manager' at Mojoes and now running this place and the David Dadds behind their legal team. What has Chingford done to deserve this? I hope the spineless Licensing Committee will take full responsibility for whatever disaster ensues as a result of their weakness. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 11

3:23pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

Oh, will Redbridge pursue their 127k costs they are owed off Loco or is this set up as a different company?
Oh, will Redbridge pursue their 127k costs they are owed off Loco or is this set up as a different company? Villagecranberry
  • Score: 10

12:52pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Proud of Woodford Green says...

This flaw in the licensing system allowing continued operation to the exisitng licensing hours whilst an appeal is lodged needs to be closed. If the license is redcued by the council that should be binding and only allowed to be re-extended on appeal by the licensee. The whole process is flawed.

No doubt Mr Dadds will delay and delay as long as feasibly possible - he knows how to play the system and its flaws are there for the unscupulous to exploit.

Chingford high road is a shadow of its former self already - and this shower continue to rain more misery on it.
This flaw in the licensing system allowing continued operation to the exisitng licensing hours whilst an appeal is lodged needs to be closed. If the license is redcued by the council that should be binding and only allowed to be re-extended on appeal by the licensee. The whole process is flawed. No doubt Mr Dadds will delay and delay as long as feasibly possible - he knows how to play the system and its flaws are there for the unscupulous to exploit. Chingford high road is a shadow of its former self already - and this shower continue to rain more misery on it. Proud of Woodford Green
  • Score: 1

4:14pm Wed 20 Aug 14

VillageIdiot69 says...

“They’re trawling through hours of CCTV footage and looking for breaches of licence and then using it against us.”

So why shouldn't they? If you've breached your licencing conditions then that's your fault and nobody elses. Everyone blames the Police for not doing their job and here we have a case where they are and he's having a go at them for it!
“They’re trawling through hours of CCTV footage and looking for breaches of licence and then using it against us.” So why shouldn't they? If you've breached your licencing conditions then that's your fault and nobody elses. Everyone blames the Police for not doing their job and here we have a case where they are and he's having a go at them for it! VillageIdiot69
  • Score: 1

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