Nightspot has licence suspended after Covid-19 rules ‘breach’

Police officers visited the venue after concerns were raised. Stock picture. Picture: SARAH LUCY BRO

Police officers visited the venue after concerns were raised. Stock picture. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An Essex nightspot has had its licence suspended after being accused of “potentially exposing hundreds of people” to Covid-19 by failing to adequately protect revellers.

Truth/Pulse, in Marine Parade East, Clacton, faced a licensing hearing after reports of loud music and dancing taking place at the venue on August 14.

Police issued the venue with advice before returning on August 15 to witness no social distancing in the queue, loud music and dancing in the nightspot, Tendring District Council’s licensing sub-committee heard.

At that time the restrictions on bars had been lifted but nightclubs were not allowed to open and premises had a duty to operate in a Covid-secure way.

In submitted evidence, Essex Police described the activity as “a calculated act” and claimed the venue had risked “exposure of hundreds of people” to coronavirus.

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Following the police visit, the council’s environmental health team served a notice banning further opening and police requested a review of the premises.

The environmental health team said that while some Covid-secure measures were in place, the venue did not go far enough to adequately protect visitors overall.

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The committee ruled yesterday that the venue should have its licence suspended for three months for failing to meet the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder – because it had risked the health of all patrons by failing to minimise the risk of Covid-19.

MORE: Pubs and shops face tougher scrutiny in crackdown on heavy drinkingSpeaking after the hearing, Val Guglielmi, committee chairman, said: “While recognising Truth/Pulse had put some measures in place against Covid-19, thee did not go far enough and the evidence presented to us showing crowds of people, loud music and dancing has led to this decision.

“We hope this sends a clear message to businesses – and residents using them – that they must comply with the Covid regulations, which are in place to keep us all safe.

“We recognise this is a tough time for businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, and we must support them, but within the Covid-secure restrictions.”

Chief Inspector Martin Richards, from Essex Police’s Tendring Community Policing Team, said the force would continue to work with businesses to help them operate within the Covid restrictions and enforcement was a last resort.

“Our approach has always been to engage with businesses, explain to them the rules and encourage them to comply to ensure bars and other venues can stay open and trading during the pandemic where legal for them to do so,” he said.

“However, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where premises do not do enough to keep people safe as we must all play our part in keeping a lid on this virus.”

The venue has 21 days to appeal against the committee’s decision.

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