Barking bar could close earlier after reports of robbery and assault

Opening and licensing hours have been reduced at the Deuce Lounge in London Road, Barking.

Opening and licensing hours have been reduced at the Deuce Lounge in London Road, Barking. - Credit: Archant

A bar could have its licensing and opening hours cut back after reports of customers being punched, robbed, and attacked with acid in a spate of early hour crime.

Management at Deuce Lounge in Barking were accused of lying and being deliberately unhelpful to police about the attacks to cover up the fact they were selling teenagers alcohol beyong their trading times.

At 3am on May 29, a customer reported being punched twice in the face at the venue.

Just two days later police attended an 18th birthday party where a female reported a group of males hitting her on the head with a brick and stealing her handbag, as well as her boyfriend’s Rolex watch at 2am.

A male at the same party reported a group of males had got out of a car outside the London Road bar, robbed people with knives and driven off. He also said that they threw a noxious substance in his face.

In an objection to the council, Pc Corinne Holland writes that the management were “dishonest and uncooperative” in their dealings with the police.

She said they “clearly lied” about both the trading hours and the 18th – which they claimed was a 21st party, despite the 18th birthday balloons in the venue.

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“Despite being aware that there were many young persons in attendance the management had kept the bar open two hours longer than their licence allows, therefore allowing customers to consumer far more alcohol than they would have otherwise done so,” the report reads.

“Had the premises closed at the time that they were supposed to then in all likelihood none of these offences would have occurred.”

Manager Abiodun Ajaya said the night was a “one-off”.

“At the end of the day we have been in this business for over 25 years and we have never had any complaints from the neighbours,” he told the Post.

“If someone has an objection they should write to the council. No member of the public has ever complained before.”

The report recommends a reduction of licensing hours to midnight on Monday to Wednesday and from 1.30am to 1am from Thursday to Saturday. Opening hours would also be cut back to 2am from 2.45am on Saturdays.

The recommendation also includes the dismissal of the current superviser. Councillors are to come to a decision at a meeting at Barking Town Hall at 7pm on Wednesday. To read the agenda, click here.