Police call for earlier closing hours at IF Bar following violent incidents

An Ilford nightclub must cut its opening hours to prevent crime and disorder, say police, following violent incidents including two stabbings and mass brawls.

Redbridge police want the licensing hours and weekend closing times of IF Bar, Ilford Hill, reduced and have made an application for a review to Redbridge Council.

Pc John Brady, a licensing officer, said: “Incidents of crime and disorder are currently running at an unacceptable level and despite regular police interaction with the management, no solution can be found.

On May 12, at around 3.40am, a disturbance between a group of men and door staff descended into mass brawls outside the front of the club, according to Mr Brady.

Police detected the smell of CS gas after a canister was thought to have been released by a man who was chased from the venue.

He was pursued into Reads Close, Ilford, by people on foot and in a car and was stabbed twice, to the lower back and abdomen. He received hospital treatment.

And on April 21, at around 3.40am, a fight inside the bar spilled out into Ilford Hill.

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Officers were forced to close the road to traffic and call in territorial support group officers who deal with public disorders and dog handlers.

Insp Frazer Willett said: “Missiles including glass bottles were thrown towards police lines.”

Other incidents including another stabbing have occurred (see box) and police say that while they “generally have confidence” in the club’s management and there is a strong working relationship, controls could be tighter.

The club can stay open until 5am Thursday to Saturday, last entry is believed to be 2am and alcohol can be served until 4am.

The police want “permitted hours” cut to midnight.

The application is supported by the council’s licensing enforcement service.

Cllr Filly Maravala, of Loxford ward, said he had received numerous complaints about IF Bar over the last three years.

He said: “It’s made the life of residents in the Icon Building [in Ilford Hill] a living hell.”

A review hearing at Redbridge Town Hall on July 31 was postponed until August 21 and 22 to allow for a two-day hearing.

It has not been possible to contact the owner of IF Bar and its manager has not been willing to comment.