Police object to nightclub hours extending, claiming most crime reports out of all venues in borough

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter 

Police have objected to plans for a nightclub to extend its opening hours, claiming it generates the most crime reports out of all venues in the ‘violence hotspot of the borough’. 

The bar, Arcadia Lounge in Broadway, Bexleyheath, sent an application to Bexley council to extend its opening hours to 3.30am at weekends. The bar is currently allowed to stay open until 2.30am.

The topic was discussed at a licensing meeting for Bexley council on Wednesday. 

Police Sergeant Steven Watson said at the meeting: “Crime analysis has shown that the area is the violence hotspot for Bexley borough, and those offences correspond with the peak hours of the late night licensed premises of that area.”

Sergeant Watson said resource constraints meant he did not feel the Met would be able to staff the Broadway area at the time Arcadia closed if the later licence was approved. 

The topic was discussed at a licensing meeting for Bexley Council on Wednesday (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

He said the move would also impact other wards in Bexley borough as police assigned to specific areas would need to be temporarily reassigned to the Broadway area.

Police claimed in their representation that nine crime reports including violence had been filed for the venue in the past six months. 

Sergeant Watson also said that recent intelligence had indicated drugs were being openly sold by people while they were in the queue for the nightclub.

Licensing consultant Guy Hicks, speaking on behalf of the applicant, disputed the Met’s evidence.

He claimed that the club’s application should be assessed on its own merits when responding to concerns from a council licensing officer that other venues in the area would seek later opening hours if the extended licence was granted.

Mr Hicks said a shortage in police resources was a matter for the Mayor of London and was not a reason to refuse the application. He added that the venue had offered to introduce a last entry time of 2am if the licence were to be granted and staff would be given training aimed at tackling violence and assaults against women.

The decision on Arcadia Lounge’s application to extend its hours will be published by the authority in the coming weeks.

Pictured top: Arcadia Lounge is based on Broadway in Bexleyheath (Picture: Google Street View)

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