The Alcohol Licensing Team from Lincolnshire Police submitted paperwork for a Licence Review Hearing following a series of visits to the premises where officers discovered the business open and trading in contravention of coronavirus laws on 5 occasions over a 4 week period.
On Thursday 7th January 2021 a digital hearing was held in front of Lincoln City Council Licensing Sub-Committee. After hearing all the evidence they agreed with the police that the premises had been caught in breach of both Coronavirus Regulations and Licensing Legislation and they had no confidence in the ability of the licence holder to promote or uphold the licensing objectives. They made the decision to revoke the licence.
There is a 21 day appeal process; if no appeal is submitted then the revocation comes into force.
Lincolnshire Police discovered the premises open with customers inside beyond the 10pm closure time introduced by the Government on 24th September repeatedly over the next four weeks. Each occasion found them to be in breach of the legislation. Customers were inside the premises past the 10pm closure time, face coverings weren’t being worn by staff or public, the takeaway had not been made a covid safe environment.
Sergeant Kim Enderby, Alcohol Licensing Manager for Lincolnshire Police said, “It is absolutely vital that every business continues to play its part in stopping the spread of this virus. Whilst I understand that the restrictions placed on businesses in Lockdown or one of the Tiers have a massive impact – the most effective way to get through this is to follow the legislation. USA Fried Chicken failed to implement the changes introduced by the Government on 24th September 2020. They then continued to ignore them for over a month, despite repeated warnings and offers of assistance from both Lincolnshire Police and Lincoln City Councils Environmental Health Team. I visited the premises on 2nd October 2020, a week after the introduction of the 10pm closure time for businesses of this type – they were open past 10pm and had implemented nothing. Had they followed the simple rules to stop the spread of this deadly virus they would not have lost their licence. They were repeatedly found breaching the closure time, allowing customers inside past 10pm, with serving staff not wearing face coverings. This at a time where the spread of the virus was escalating across the County and we really needed all licensed premises to operate lawfully and responsibly. This premises repeatedly failed and no real explanation for that failure was offered to the licensing committee by the licence holder.
The decision of the Council to revoke the licence sends a powerful deterrent message to Licensed Premises in the weeks ahead - Follow the guidance, stick to the legislation and operate safely. Lincolnshire Police and other agencies continue working with businesses as we have done throughout this pandemic, assisting them whenever we can. However we will not hesitate to take action against those that choose to deliberately operate unsafely and unlawfully.
13 Jan 21 9:49 AM