Portsmouth pub Pitch and Vinyl is stripped of its licence following 'serious concerns' about its management

No representatives of the business attended the hearing (Photo: Google Streetview)
No representatives of the business attended the hearing (Photo: Google Streetview)

Members of a licensing sub-committee backed calls from Hampshire police which said it had “serious concerns” about the management of Pitch & Vinyl, also known as the Blue Anchor, in London Road.

The business’ licence was temporarily suspended at the beginning of the month in response to the July 30 incident but councillors decided to make this permanent, criticising the lack of engagement from the pub. The review was called by police who said there had been “numerous” management failings in how it dealt with the attack and subsequent investigations. This included the failure to provide CCTV footage.

Superintendent Mark Lewis said pub staff had “served alcohol to customers beyond the point of drunkenness and this has fuelled this serious incident and an affray which followed, involving multiple customers from the pub,” adding that there “is a significant lack of management control”.

After the incident, a 27-year-old man was taken to QA Hospital before being moved to a specialist trauma unit at Southampton General Hospital with a suspected skull fracture. He has since been released from hospital. A 20-year-old man from Portsmouth was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and has been bailed until October 30 pending further enquiries. Investigating officers have appealed for witnesses.

Police licensing officer Peter-James Vincent said investigators requested CCTV footage from the pub two days later but were told it had not been operation at the time – and that staff also did not have the password to the system.

Speaking at Tuesday’s (August 29) hearing, he said he had “never seen such a failing” of a licensed premises in Portsmouth.

“A summary review of a premises is not something that is done lightly by the police but in this case the risk of serious crime and disorder and the lack of management was so significant that we had no other option,” he said. “To allow this premises to continue to trade would have been negligent on our part and a risk we were unwilling to take.”

Derek Stone, the council’s licensing manager, said there had been “several serious breaches” of its licence conditions relating to CCTV, staff training, and its handling of drunken customers. No representatives of the business attended the hearing and Mr Vincent said no responses had been received to his attempts to contact its management. The sub-committee agreed to revoke the licence, backing the position of Hampshire Police.

“There are already quite a lot of restrictions on the licence and they’ve not been adhered to,” sub-committee member George Madgwick said, saying that it would not be possible to take any lesser response.