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Barking nightclub where police were called out 12 times in a year has longer opening hours bid rejected

PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 April 2019

The Ship and Shovel in Ripple Road, Barking, where Gomora Night Club is based. Picture: GOOGLE

The Ship and Shovel in Ripple Road, Barking, where Gomora Night Club is based. Picture: GOOGLE

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A licensee has lost a bid to extend opening hours at a club where police found a man armed with a knife and bat during a fight.

Police licensing officer Pc Richard Clay at Barking Town Hall. Picture: LBBDPolice licensing officer Pc Richard Clay at Barking Town Hall. Picture: LBBD

Jagtar Sandhu wanted to keep the doors of Gomora Night Club, based at the Ship and Shovel in Barking, open longer including until 5am on a Friday and Saturday night.

But Mr Sandhu's bid was refused at a public Town Hall meeting of Barking and Dagenham Council's licensing sub-committee last week.

Councillors heard of five occasions after closing time when police were called to the Ripple Road nightspot.

In one case, violence erupted on December 23 with officers finding the clubber with a knife and bat.

In another, six security guards couldn't stop a brawl when four men tried to barge in last November.

The Met was also called to a common assault inside the club at 3.23am last December.

Police licensing officer, Pc Richard Clay, warned the committee drink driving offences could worsen if the hours were extended.

He described an arrest in January after a drunk reveller left the venue, got into their vehicle and smashed it into others in the club's car park.

In a fifth incident, a man was smacked in the face during a fight which saw officers called out at 3.39am on February 19.

Twelve incidents were recorded over the last year, Pc Clay said, with three serious assaults in the last four weeks alone.

“The police feel if the hours are extended, the intoxication of the people attending the club will become a lot higher. Our concern is it will put a drain on police resources having to deal with violence,” Pc Clay said.

But Mr Sandhu argued the trouble-makers were coming from other clubs.

“They come in drunk and we don't want them. We do our jobs. We work with the police,” he said.

Pc Clay replied: “We want to make sure you stay in business but at the moment you're having trouble managing what's going on until three o'clock in the morning.”

Delivering the decision, Simon Scrowther, the council's legal adviser, said: “The sub-committee was concerned by the criminality arising in and around the premises.

“There is a likelihood it may become worse if the licensing hours are extended.”

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