Ilford’s IF Bar forced to close earlier to tackle problems with crime

If Bar in Ilford

If Bar in Ilford - Credit: Archant

A troubled Ilford bar has been forced to reduce its opening hours after a number of violent incidents near the venue.

IF Bar, in Ilford Hill, will close earlier each evening to help tackle crime and disorder problems after an appeal was heard at Romford Magistrates Court on February 19.

The restrictions were initially agreed by the council’s licensing sub-committee in August last year after a number of incidents were reported including two stabbings and mass brawls.

The judge ruled that the restrictions should be put in force and agreed with the committee that there was no fault found with the bar’s management, but the premises was a clear magnet for problems.

However, the decision to suspend the licence for one month will not go ahead as the judge deemed it no longer necessary to break the cycle of problems, and it was felt this had already happened due to a change in promoters.

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The venue currently 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.

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Cllr Filly Maravala, who told the Recorder he had received numerous complaints about the bar over the last three years, said: “I am happy to see these changes. Any reduction in hours is a result as far as residents are concerned. However if anti-social behaviour continues we will look for more action to be taken.

“If the owners of the bar want to open a venue amongst residential homes they must tow the line.”

The licensee is also 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.

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