Drinking up time for the Town House

Ealing Broadway pub closes to deal with anti-social behaviour


The Townhouse has been deemed unfit to deal with its "history of assaults, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour” and ordered to close for two weeks.

Cheap drink offers, poor security and not checking IDs have been blamed for the pub’s rise in violence and disorder. Between February and October 2006, the police logged more than 18 incidents.

A range of measures are being introduced to prevent the pub’s license being permanently revoked. Serving hours will be reduced on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. No one under 21 will be allowed in after 9pm on those evenings and CCTV and security is to be stepped up. The pub has also been ordered to employ floorwalkers to check for drunkenness.

Margaret Goodwin, Ealing Council's environmental health officer, said: "It appears that this company accepts that violence is an occupational hazard and their mind-set is just to react to violence once it has happened.

"Given the high number of violent incidents at the premises, mainly between intoxicated customers attacking other customers, or when intoxicated customers have been asked to leave by bar staff, there should be a specific assessment designed to monitor such incidents and set procedures in place to reduce them."

Cllr Sue Emment, cabinet member for safer communities, said: "This pub has been a magnet for crime and disorder, fuelled by cheap beer and drinks promotions for far too long.
"It has a history of assaults, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour, both inside and outside the premises. The company needs to take responsibility for the abusive and violent behaviour of some of its patrons who, having left the premises, contribute to general disorder and a threatening atmosphere in the area late at night."

She added: "We will not tolerate this kind of blatant irresponsibility and are continuing to step up our efforts to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre to make it safer for all residents and visitors."

The pub's owner, Laurel Pub Company, has 21 days to appeal the decision and conditions imposed by Ealing Council's licensing sub-committee at the hearing on Monday, February 5.
Ealing police Licensing Sergeant Nigel Charlton said: "The pub's owners have accepted that there has been a history of problems and are now committed to working with us to ensure they create a safe environment for people to enjoy an evening out."

February 20, 2007