Hampshire Constabulary has called a review of London Road venue Pitch & Vinyl’s licence in response to the incident at the end of July after CCTV footage was not provided as required. An interim hearing was held by Portsmouth City Council on August 4 at which the pub’s licence was suspended and its designated premises supervisor removed ahead of a full review on Tuesday (August 29).
The incident took place in the early hours of Sunday, July 30 between two customers of the pub, which is commonly known as the Blue Anchor.
Superintendent Mark Lewis said pub staff had “served alcohol to customers beyond the point of drunkenness and this has fuelled this serious incident and an affray which followed, involving multiple customers from the pub,” adding that there “is a significant lack of management control”.
Police confirmed a 27-year-old man was taken to QA Hospital before being moved to a specialist trauma unit at Southampton General Hospital with a suspected skull fracture. He has since been released from hospital. A 20-year-old man from Portsmouth was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and has been bailed until October 30 pending further enquiries. Investigating officers have appealed for witnesses.
Police licensing officer Peter-James Vincent said investigators requested CCTV footage from the pub two days later but were told it had not been operation at the time – and that staff also did not have the password to the system.
“A number of reasons have been given for the failure of the CCTV system but it seems to centre around a disagreement between the previous and current management teams and a clear lack of training,” he said in his review application. “On further investigation there are numerous breaches of the premises licence.”
This included the pub not keeping records of any staff training and “serious concerns about the management of the premises”.
Mr Vincent added: “It is the view of the chief officer of police that immediate action is required to prevent further serious incidents of crime and disorder, harm to the public and to implement a comprehensive review of the current operating practices used at the premises.
“Existing measures to promote the licensing objectives have been insufficient to prevent this serious crime.”
A report by council licensing officers published ahead of next week’s hearing says there is “a history of assaults and incidents” over recent years.
Members of a licensing sub-committee will consider the review application and could either agree to take no action, vary the existing licence for the pub, or to revoke it.