Dagenham pool club blighted by fights remains open

A pool club blighted by a series of violent incidents has been allowed to stay open.

The Pot Luck club in Dagenham was given a “final warning” after it made sweeping changes by drafting in new management and seeking to get rid of potential troublemakers.

Police were called 11 times to the Becontree Avenue club last year to deal with brawls, a gun incident and a bottle fight which left a man with a 20cm gash through which his lungs and ribs were visible, Met records revealed.

The venue faced losing it licence last week but councillors instead decided to impose a raft of stringent conditions that will see the club shut at 10pm.

At the meeting last Tuesday, licensing and regulatory board chairman Cllr Lee Waker told the new management team: “We are still deeply concerned over the disruption that seems to have been connected to this particular premises in this residential area.

“This is a final written warning. We expect you to go away and observe all these conditions without fail.”

Residents said that they had been intimidated by users of the club and that it had become a late-night drinking den where cheap alcohol was available.

Most Read

Becontree ward Cllr Evelyn Carpenter asked that the licence be revoked after receiving a stream of complaints last summer.

But the club’s barrister, Alexis Dite, said Pot Luck had brought in experienced managers, refused admission to people under the age of 25 and now catered for a new clientele of middle-aged pool players.

Mr Dite told councillors: “There is a new atmosphere, a new clientele. There is no necessary need to review this licence. This is not the same place as it was when it opened.”

Police said the venue had not had any incidents since last autumn.

But Cllr Carpenter warned that the antisocial behaviour could return with milder weather in the spring.

She told the meeting: “I don’t believe the problem has disappeared. It’s good to see old people using the premises but I do believe it will soon change.”

Under the new conditions, the club must serve drinks in plastic cups and will only be able to admit pool players who are aged 25 or over.

Pot Luck was previously allowed to serve drinks until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and until 11pm on the other days of the week.