Oppose the bullying tactics of the Lambeth police licensing team against Fridge Bar and licensed venues within LAMBETH. Restore Fridge Bar's original licence.

Petition Closed

Oppose the bullying tactics of the Lambeth police licensing team against Fridge Bar and licensed venues within LAMBETH. Restore Fridge Bar's original licence.

This petition had 393 supporters

Fridge Bar started this petition to Lambeth Council

We are asking you, the general public, to support the Fridge Bar in their fight against the rampant abuse of powers by the Lambeth police licensing team.

These very small band of police officers within this squad are bullying, harassing and causing horrendous financial damage to many licensed venues within the Lambeth area. They have used dirty tactics against venues which exposes these venues financially causing their businesses to suffer and in some cases to close altogether.

They have deliberately lied to the Lambeth licensing committee causing the committee to act on palpably false information. They have deliberately not supported venues by ensuring that no police officers are ever seen outside certain bars/clubs and if/when there is a disturbance this is then used against the clubs to justify closure. They have used the 'noise argument' to issue Closure Orders' and we have seen the decimation of the night time economy in Brixton of Black owned and run businesses. Venues that have a high proportion of black customers are also in the firing line of these police licensing officers.

We know from speaking to other venue owners that they are 'terrified' of speaking out against these abuses in case they are 'targeted' by this unit. How can any business operate in such a climate?

The Fridge Bar has recently had their licensing hours cut back to 2am causing us to fire 13 members of our highly valued staff, many of whom have worked with us a long time. We are a late venue and have marketed ourselves as a late venue. Our license was restricted because of an incident that took place, outside Brixton College, when we had already been closed for an hour.  The police never visited our venue, never asked for statements but went straight to Lambeth licensing committee asking for our license to be revoked. This is an abuse of power and they know it.

I am the Chairperson of the Night Time Economy Forum and a member of the Safer Lambeth Business Crime Reduction Steering Committee in Lambeth. The BCRP (of which I am also a member) and the police are supposed to be working in partnership.

The BCRP has a radio system that is used by venues within Lambeth and this data is not meant to be used against venues that participate in this scheme. The police have broken the rules of this Partnership and can no longer be trusted to carry out their duties justly or with integrity. Our proactive membership of the BCRP scheme has been totally undermined by Lambeth's Police Licensing Team. How can businesses now trust this system?

Our licence has been removed unfairly and we want it back. We recognise that by complaining publicly about the police we leave ourselves open to further abuse, harassment and the distinct possibility that we may well be finished in this area. Our actions though are necessary and we are not going to be intimidated. 

Lastly this. The police have made serious allegations about Fridge Bar yet did not once mention this 'serious crime and serious disorder' to me. I meet with them regularly as the person that represents night time licensed venues in the area. Does that make any sense to a logical person or is there something more sinister afoot with a CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) of our building being dragged out to ensure that our building is taken for free if we do not have a licence?

Afia Asha, Managing Director, Fridge Bar 

 

Petition Closed

This petition had 393 supporters