Hackney venue licence review after gun pointed at police officer

A restaurant and bar has been ordered to install a special ID scanning system, after a gun was pointed at a police officer following a disturbance outside.

Several Mount Strive customers began fighting outside in Stoke Newington High Street in the early hours of November 3 after an event inside the venue, which had been granted extended opening hours.

A man was stabbed in his leg and needed stitches.

Police believed someone involved in the fight and who was in the club was involved in another incident an hour later when a gun was pointed at a police officer.

The club’s premises licence was suspended immediately and the police called for an expedited premises review hearing by the council’s licensing subcommittee.

Det Con Paul Merry, requesting the review, said: “Mount Strive has a long history of violence and firearm-related calls to the venue, and it is felt it is unsafe for the venue to continue trading until this offence is fully investigated and all parties have been spoken to.

“This decision is not a reflection on how the premises is being run. The sub-committee was concerned that the clientele could be attracted to the premises, especially whilst the criminal investigation is being carried out, posing a real risk of causing serious crime and or disorder.”

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The council’s licensing sub-committee has now amended Mount Strive’s licence and it will be allowed to re-open next week once an ID entry scan system is installed.

Anyone without ID will be refused entry and the technology can scan a passport or driving licence and verify it within seconds.

It records names, addresses and contact numbers of anyone entering and a CCTV image will also be captured.

Dakarai Ryan, one of the licensees, along with Ian Steele, said: “We think the ID scanner is a great idea, because if someone doesn’t want to provide ID, they’re not the type of person we want anyway.

“The committee said the terms of our licence are already quite stringent and we adhere to it, so it’s another condition we have no qualms about applying.

“There are clubs we know of in south London that have it and they said it’s the best thing they have ever done.

“People who attend feel a lot safer by its introduction. They feel they can go there openly without any problems.”

Mr Ryan does not believe the incident with the gun had anything to do with his venue.

“It could have been someone from any of the clubs in the area. They were trying to link it to our club because there was a small scuffle,” he said. “Saying someone was stabbed was a little excessive, it was a nick out of his leg.”