IF Bar in Ilford cannot operate for one month and has to cut back opening hours, subject to appeal

An Ilford nightclub will be unable to operate for a month and will have to cut back its opening hours subject to appeal following a licence review.

The Met Police made an application to reduce the opening hours of IF Bar in Ilford Hill because licensing officers said it was attracting a criminal and undesirable element.

Redbridge Council’s licensing sub-committee met on Tuesday and Wednesday and considered evidence, including CCTV footage, from the Met and relevant parties, including representatives of its management.

The sub-committee felt it was necessary to suspend the venue’s licence for one month because it had become a “focal point for disorder late at night”, the decision released today showed.

The decision can be appealed within 21 days from today with a magistrates’ court and the suspension and changes to the licence would only apply at the conclusion of the appeals process.

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It was accepted by the sub-committee, chaired by Cllr Ruth Clark in the hearing at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, that on several occasions between July 17 last year and August 6 2012 there was a breakdown in public order in the immediate vicinity of the bar, which called for substantial police intervention.

It heard of mass brawls outside the club on April 21 and May 12, the former resulting in off-borough police and dog units being called to the scene.

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The sub-committee found incidents of public disorder generally coincided with patrons leaving IF Bar.

While acknowledging that other late-night businesses operate near by, members found the club was a “focal point” for large groups of people.

As a result, following the suspension, its opening hours and times for selling alcohol would be cut back. Previously, the bar could stay open until 3am the following day Sunday to Wednesday and 5am the following day Thursday to Saturday.

These times will now change to 1am, with no entry after midnight, and 2am, with no entry after 1am, respectively.

The venue will not be able to serve alcohol after midnight Sunday to Wednesday and after 1am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The club will also operate a Clubscan ID card system for entry after 9pm Thursday to Sunday.

The sub-committee agreed the management is “good and effective and actively engages with the relevant authorities.”

Enquiries have been made with the legal representatives of IF Bar but there has been no response.

Read more about the decision in Thursday’s Recorder.

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