Kingston venue Barcadia is urged to make some changes following a police visit to the club.
Gemma Coleman & Kaia Tufteland
Popular Kingston bar has been ordered to boost its security and use a high tech ID system after almost losing its licence.
Barcadia on Clarence Street managed to keep their licence despite fears of losing it after an unannounced police visit in late February.
Barcadia have to replace all security and door staff within 20 working days of the hearing.
The licence holder, Huseyin Sanli, said: “We are pleased that we came to an agreement with environmental health and the Kingston Police.
“We look forward to working closer with both authorities and I think we have shown again that we are very responsible operators.”
During a licence sub-committee meeting, held at the Guildhall in Kingston, the management of Barcadia agreed to a 23-point plan with the police, the council and the environmental health department.
Police not impressed
Kingston police were accompanied by officers from the environmental health department on their visit on February 23, where they found a poorly kept incident log, an over-capacity bar and Mr Sanli smoking in his office.
A spokesman for Barcadia spoke about the unannounced visit at the licence meeting. He said: “Their [the Barcadia door staff] resources were stretched that evening dealing with an incident, nothing to do with the club, which was happening nearby.
“For that reason there was a good deal of confusion on how many people were in the club. In fact Barcardia do not accept that they were over capacity at that time.”
They have agreed to buy a £5,000 ID scanner to improve their security, which is also used by their neighbouring nightclub Oceana.
Scanner needs to be used properly
Chief Inspector Gary Taylor from the Metropolitan Police said: “The system only works if everybody is scanned. It accurately records numbers and everybody that goes into the venue.
“Oceana also scan their employees to provide an accurate record on who is in the venue and that has had huge benefits when crime and disorder is taking place to identify suspects.”
This machine will be used every evening when door security is required and will check the identification of each person entering the bar.
New bar manager, Hana Won, said: “As you can imagine, we are very pleased with the outcome of the hearing. We look forward to continue working with the local authorities to improve public safety and promote Kingston’s night-time economy.”
As a result of the hearing, Barcadia are planning to hold some alternative events which will include jazz nights and book clubs in order to encourage a calmer atmosphere.