June 18 2013 Latest news:
Jessica Earnshaw, Reporter
Monday, March 11, 2013
The cutting of opening hours at an Ilford nightclub and the introduction of ID scanners for revellers has been welcomed by police, after a string of violent incidents at the venue.
The Met Police first made an application to reduce the opening hours of IF Bar, Ilford Hill, Ilford in August, after licensing officers said it was attracting a criminal and undesirable element.
The restriction was initially agreed by the council’s licensing sub-committee in August after a number of incidents were reported including two stabbings and mass brawls.
The venue has a licence to open until 5am between Thursday and Saturday and 3am for the rest of the week.
Opening hours will be reduced and the bar will now close at 1am from Sunday to Wednesday and 2am from Thursday to Saturday.
Sgt Douglas Fyfe said: “The problems near the bar had been going on for some time and the police had been working closely with the management for around 18 months beforehand.
“Unfortunately the issues persisted, and we felt the hours should be reduced.
“We don’t want to stop people enjoying themselves or hinder a vibrant night-time economy, but we must think about people’s safety.”
Sgt Fyfe added: “There was wasn’t one single factor which caused the trouble but it seemed to be that incidents of public disorder generally coincided with patrons leaving.
“I am happy that opening hours have been reduced and that ID scanners will be used. We will continue to work with bar and monitor what happens.”
The licensee is required to install a Clubscan ID card recognition system which is used to monitor people entering the premises after 9pm. The bar has also had its recorded music hours restricted in line with the new opening hours.