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Residents and businesses defend Barcadia ahead of Kingston Council licence review
Barcadia could face permanent closure next Monday when Kingston police will present evidence to councillors about a Christmas Eve “glassing”.
It was closed by councillors for 28 days on December 30 ahead of a full licence review.
But residents and business owners leapt to the bar’s defence by writing letters to Kingston Council.
Daveed Jormon, owner of nearby Cash & Carry told the council: “I do not believe that Barcadia is an unsafe place.
“In fact I have experienced more trouble coming from the larger clubs in Kingston.
“There have been several occasions when Barcadia’s security staff have supported our security staff to deal with violent or drunk and disorderly people in my shop.”
One town centre resident said: “This is a local bar I have the pleasure to be a regular client for the past eight years, where I have only experienced good times socially.
“In regards to the alleged crimes connected to Barcadia listed by the police, the bar cannot always be held accountable for them, simply that won’t be fair.”
Another wrote: “I am astonished that the licensing committee should consider this [review] to be appropriate and proportionate when considering that my friends and I have been avoiding other venues in Kingston due to murders and rape crimes that happened there in the last years.”
However, in evidence to the council’s licensing sub-committee PC Kevin Hyde said: “The current number of crimes related to Barcardia is out of proportion to the size of the venue.”
PC Hyde said another GBH incident occurred at Barcadia on December 28 last year, and that in total 12 assaults had been recorded there since April last year.
He asked that if councillors did not revoke Barcadia’s licence they instead consider cutting its opening hours to midnight.
Last April after a licence review 23 new conditions were imposed on the bar after a council environmental health officer raised concerns about disorder.
In September a closure notice was handed down after the bar failed to use their Scannet ID system.
Evidence to councillors also includes testimony from the head of the police’s pan-London licensing team, Det Ch Insp John Cushion about a visit to Barcadia on Saturday, December 14.
He said that on the night Barcadia’s “operation appeared to be in some disarray”.
His concerns included security staff not correctly displaying their own identification badges, failure to scan punters’ ID correctly, and the level of customers’ inebriation.
The review will take place on Monday, January 27, at 10.30am in the Guildhall.
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