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Police want to stop Ilford party venue Praba from selling alcohol after shooting and stabbing

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 August 2017

Praba Banqueting Suite with police tape in February, after a man was stabbed outside while a party was ongoing. Picture: Ken Mears

Praba Banqueting Suite with police tape in February, after a man was stabbed outside while a party was ongoing. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Police are urging councillors to strip a party venue of its alcohol licence, after two major violent crimes have flared up in the last six months.

There was a shooting and a separate stabbing at bashes earlier this year, and officers say they have finally lost patience with the owners of Praba Banqueting Suite, in High Road, Ilford.

A hearing tomorrow (Friday) in front of Redbridge Council’s licensing sub-committee will decide the venue’s fate.

In a report, filed to the sub-committee, Pc Ian Taylor explained the numerous warnings officers had issued to the owners of Praba, prior to the recent shooting.

“In the early part of 2017 police had received information relating to the potential for serious gang related crime and disorder at the venue,” he wrote.

Two events at the banqueting hall were voluntarily closed by the management after police intervention, Pc Taylor reported, before on February 5 a man was stabbed while sitting in a car outside during a party.

A gun was also discharged, and onlookers described the scene as “like a war zone” as up to 1,000 people brawled in a mass melee.

Pc Taylor explained after this the owners were brought before the sub-committee in March, and a new set of licensing conditions were agreed.

However on June 5, at 600 strong party and a man was shot in the leg.

Pc Taylor’s report states that in a meeting with police the next day, the owners admitted to being on site the whole time.

“They had allowed door staff to admit more than the allowed number of persons into the venue stating ‘about 600’”, when the limit was 300.

Pc Taylor continued: “They stated that the bar was still openly selling alcohol past the 5am closing of the event.”

The officer added that police found bags “used to carry cannabis, the licensees stated they were aware smoking was happening on the premises”.

He concluded: “Police are of the opinion licensees are not fit and proper persons to run, control or supervise the venue.”

Tony Edwards, the solicitor representing Praba at the hearing, explained the shooting suspects were not part of the event.

“We had a huge security presence and these so and sos came through the fence,” he said.

“We had 29 security staff and the event went ahead with special permission from the police.”

See ilfordrecorder.co.uk tomorrow for the latest from the hearing.


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