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Warning for Scarborough bar boss

The Town Hall in ScarboroughA Scarborough bar boss has been given a “final warning” and a raft of new conditions added to his licence over concerns about under-age drinking and the safety of young people.


Gary Williams, who runs Tonics in Waterhouse Lane, appeared before a Scarborough Borough Council Licensing Sub-Committee over “significant concerns that the premises were not being managed effectively and in accordance with licensing objectives”. He was accused of not adhering to three out of the four licensing objectives which relate to public safety, protection of children from harm and prevention of crime and disorder.


In one incident, 400 tickets had been sold for a Scarborough Sixth Form “freshers’ party” – four times the capacity considered to be safe. If allowed to go ahead, council officers believe it could have resulted in serious casualties, if not death. It was stopped at the 11th hour after a prohibition notice was served by the fire authority.


At the conclusion of the hearing, Mr Williams was told the committee had “strongly considered the revocation of the premises licence” as a result of “numerous breaches” of his licence. Instead, 19 new conditions were added to the licence including a ban on anyone under 18 going into the premises during operating hours.


Cllr Brian Watson, chairman of the council’s Licensing Committee, who instigated the hearing, said: “This decision should be a wake-up call for the licensee. He should be in no doubt that we will not tolerate profit being put before the safety of young people. I am pleased Mr Williams has acknowledged his mistakes and look forward to seeing an improved standard of management at Tonics.”


Scarborough Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector, Tony Quinn, said: “North Yorkshire Police were keen to support the application for the review of Tonics owing to some very serious concerns we had relating to a lack of co-operation when seeking CCTV evidence and in relation to the safety of young people. We were pleased to see Mr Williams express regret for his actions and agree to the new licence conditions. We look forward to working with him to ensure the premises are now run responsibly and safely.”


In other incidents reported at the hearing, the bar had failed to supply adequate CCTV footage to the police when asked to do so with management accused of being “obstructive, abusive and aggressive with police officers”; the premises had allowed underage drinking and had failed to take proper safeguarding measures to protect young persons; it had failed to comply with the conditions relating to door supervisors; the management advertised an irresponsible drinks promotion; there was a further failure to supply police with CCTV footage within the required timeframe following a fight outside Tonics which compromised a police investigation; and it was alleged the door supervisor and management of the premises had failed to contact the police or night marshals at the time of that incident.

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