Popular nightspot is under threat

THE future of one of Colchester's most popular nightspots is under threat after a series of late-night incidents.

THE future of one of Colchester's most popular nightspots is under threat after a series of late-night incidents.

Yates's, in Head Street, is regularly packed with revellers but there were a series of occasions last year when door staff allegedly used “excessive force” towards customers.

Despite several meetings with police, management failed to comply with a condition that door supervisors had to wear headcams and the pub's licence is now set to be re-evaluated.

At the end of the month Colchester Borough Council's licensing committee will hold a review that will determine the future of the site, part of Britain's oldest pub chain.

Under licensing rules the committee could move to modify the current arrangement, suspend the licence for up to three months or revoke it in full.

A report that will be presented to the committee claims that Yates's has one of the highest levels of incidents, crime and disorder in Colchester town centre.

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It adds: “These incidents include reports of use of excessive force by door supervisors towards customers on June 28 2008, July 5 2008 and November 26 2008.”

The report claims that a meeting was held between police officers and Yates's management at Colchester Police Station last October following an incident where it was alleged that a member of door staff had assaulted a customer.

During the meeting it became apparent that CCTV coverage of the premises was still “insufficient”, despite an earlier commitment to improve it.

The report states that further visits demonstrated little improvements at the pub and the police submitted an application for a licence review.

Since the application was accepted by the council the police and the management of Yates's have held further discussions and, as a result, certain changes have been made to the door supervisor and CCTV arrangements but the licence review will still be heard.

A spokesman for the Town and City Pub Company, which owns the Yates's chain, said: “The police brought to our attention a number of issues at Yates's, Colchester which have now been resolved.

“The door team at the pub have been changed and no further incidents have taken place. We continue to work in partnership with the police and local authority to provide a safe environment for our customers and staff.”

Essex Police declined to comment on the matter until after the hearing, which will take place on February 27.