Rumors Bar and Nightclub in Barnstaple has been stripped of its license after incidents of crime and disorder took place on the premises on several occasions.
On June 27, Barnstaple Magistrates Court was presented with the culmination of the work undertaken by North Devon Council and the police at the local bar hearing. Its license had been revoked by the board in November 2021, but the company had continued to trade legally pending the appeal hearing.
The bar was found to have broken the rules, including breaching:
• crime and disorder
• public nuisance
• public safety
• protection of children from harm
Police witness statements were presented in the magistrates’ court alongside CCTV which showed two serious criminal incidents. The first took place in May this year and another incident took place this month. Both incidents were related to the consumption of alcohol at the scene.
A timeline of incidents that set the scene for the magistrates was also presented and showed a catalog of the problems and mismanagement of the bar.
The appeal decision resulted in the premises being forced to close their doors permanently.
Chair of the council’s Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Councilor Louisa York said, “An attractive, safe and well-run nighttime economy adds value to our town centres. We thank the majority of our licensees at Barnstaple for doing a good job in running their establishments. We are delighted that the trial court has supported our efforts to promote Barnstaple’s positive image and reputation. We have a good mix of bars, restaurants and cultural venues and we will vigorously tackle any business that generates a negative perception of our city.”
Inspector Andy Wills, Area Inspector for Barnstaple, says: “The vast majority of local licensed traders operate their premises conscientiously and with respect for our wider community. We thank them for taking the time and effort they put into providing safe, high quality entertainment and social venues for all of us to enjoy. They do this in the hope that locals who don’t will be held accountable, and the community expects the same. This case demonstrates that where appropriate standards are not maintained in line with licensing objectives, Devon and Cornwall Police and the local authority will work together to provide a solution. We are pooling information and resources, and trying to work with the locals to remedy the situation. Where change cannot be effected through such commitment, we will seek to develop a case to take the license to review. Revocation may be the result. We are pleased that the Licensing Committee and the Magistrates agreed that this was the appropriate outcome in this case. The community in this town can be confident that they are listened to by both the Police and North Devon Council, and that community safety is a central and shared goal for us.
The court found that the board acted appropriately in revoking the license and awarded the board full costs.