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Dereham pub's licensing row

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 July 2010

Ben Woods

A Dereham pub has been refused a bid to extend its licensing hours and been told to improve the management of its security by police.

The Plough and Furrow on Quebec Street will not be allowed to stay open till 5am due to serious incidents of crime and disorder and a lack of management at weekends, a licensing sub-committee ruled on Monday.

A Dereham pub has been refused a bid to extend its licensing hours and been told to improve the management of its security by police.

The Plough and Furrow on Quebec Street will not be allowed to stay open till 5am due to serious incidents of crime and disorder and a lack of management at weekends, a licensing sub-committee ruled on Monday.

The venue will also be required to have three door staff members, six CCTV cameras in operation, and provide downloads of CCTV footage for police when requested.

Leaseholder, Joanne Cross, declined to comment on the verdict.

Licensing officer for Norfolk Police, Tony Grover, said: “This comes within four months of a previous application that was refused by the licensing sub-committee. She has failed to improve in that time. There is evidence of lack of proper management and a lack of door staff.

“Door staff members have also failed to co-operate with police when asked to provide evidence, and CCTV footage was not provided because it failed to download.”

Objecting to the application, police said they had witnessed a clear breach of the pub's licensing conditions on Saturday January 16 when a door man let patrons in after 1am.

They also criticised the amount of security staff on the premises after a door staff member was allegedly assaulted on Sunday March 14.

During both incidents Miss Cross was not on the premises, they claimed.

Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen said: “Miss Cross, you said things had improved but there has been three incidents in the last month and two in the last two weeks.”

Miss Cross said she had been away on holiday during one incident, but did her best to be at the pub despite having three children to look after.

She said: “I am there every Saturday. I am behind the bar. The police do not ask to see me. I have asked the police to come in.”

“I think it is fair to have a license in line with other establishments in the town. I employ local people and new opportunities for jobs would be available if the hours are extended.”

The Plough and Furrow applied to extend the weekend opening hours until 5am on Friday and Saturdays, and 2.30 am on Sunday.

A similar application for the variation of the premises license was also rejected by a licensing sub-committee in December 2009.

Speaking at the meeting on Monday, Inspector Paul Wheatley said: “I am responsible for crime and disorder in Dereham and it is my responsibility for it to reduce.

“I need doormen on Quebec Street to be the showmen for the rest of the town and we will look at the Plough and Furrow over the summer months to see if they can improve.”


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