Knife fight leads to review of Hackney wine bar licence
PUBLISHED: 11:51 04 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:05 04 March 2013
A fight involving two large knives outside a Nigerian restaurant, Eko Wine Bar, have led to new conditions being imposed on the venue’s licence.
Police asked Hackney Council’s licensing sub-committee to review Eko Wine Bar’s licence after they were called to an incident there on November 18 by a member of the public who claimed they had seen a gun.
Council CCTV showed several men emerging from the venue in Homerton High Street to start a scuffle in the street – and at least two of them were seen holding knives.
Police allege that when they spoke to staff, security and customers inside the bar, everyone denied witnessing anything happening outside.
“This is contrary to CCTV footage which demonstrates it would have been impossible for the Security Industry Authority (SIA) staff not to have been aware of a disturbance,” said Pc Guy Hicks in a report.
“In fact the CCTV shows door staff going onto the pavement to watch the fight unfold.” He continued: “The venue causes congestion, noise, both from people and vehicles leaving the venue in the early hours and it has been suggested that it operates beyond its hours regularly.”
Officers alleged that when they asked the licence holder to show them CCTV footage of the incident they could not remember the password and police eventually seized the CCTV unit’s hard drive.
“Upon viewing the hard drive a female can clearly be seen in the venue taking an infant in arms into the rear of the restaurant at the same time as the incident is occurring at the front, this was approximately 3.40am,” said Pc Hicks.
The council’s licensing sub-committee added 24 new conditions to the licence at the review last Tuesday – including more thorough management of the CCTV system, no alcohol promotions, keeping an incident book and not allowing cars to park outside after 7pm.
Licence holder Ms Monica Ogungbola said there had never previously been a problem during the seven years she has run the restaurant with her husband. She denied the venue operated beyond its licensing hours.
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