Violence prompts review of Wisbech pub’s licence

THE premises licence for a Wisbech pub was today (Tuesday) due to be reviewed after being brought before Fenland’s licensing committee by the police.

Sgt Dave Bax from Wisbech Police Station wants the operating hours of the King’s Head, on Old Market, to be reduced and access to be restricted to certain clientele after struggling to contain violence and disorder at the pub.

In the application to Fenland District Council, Sgt Bax states: “There have been numerous incidents of violence and disorder associated with this premises over a number of years. This has led the police to engage with the licence holder to try to reduce the impact on the local community and the emergency services. These interventions have failed to bring the premises under long-term control.”

An action plan was drawn up between police and the licence holder, Aigars Balsevics, after a meeting in March of this year. Changes included closing the doors two hours early on Fridays and Saturdays and having door staff to better control who enters the premises.

However, the violence continued, with 18 incidents recorded by police since Christmas Day, backed up by CCTV evidence, and seven incidents reported following March’s meeting.

Sgt Bax’s report said: “The police believe that as this premises is open later than any other in the immediate vicinity, it is acting as the ‘last drink saloon’, with intoxicated persons making their way to it to continue drinking. The mix of settled clientele and intoxicated persons from other premises causes a flash point of violence, disorder and nuisance.”

The police are backed up by three witnesses who have reported numerous incidents over the years.

They are regularly woken up by fights outside in the early hours of the morning and have made statements for the police and licensing committee.