Leyton business in trouble with police avoids losing licenceThe club's licence is suspended for three months
A Leyton snooker club in trouble with local police has managed to avoid permanently losing its licence.
The Metropolitan Police urged Waltham Forest Council to strip Snooker Lovers Club in High Road, Leyton, of its licence after they were called to the venue 18 times in just six months.
Between September and February, police received ten calls about fights or assaults at the venue, including one where a man was “extremely lucky” not to have received life-threatening injuries.
However, at a licensing committee meeting yesterday, owner Abdul Kanat said the problems were caused by a problematic group of customers who had “taken control” of the club after he left it in his brother’s hands.
After hearing that his brother Yakub would no longer have anything to do with the business and that he would introduce a membership scheme, councillors were persuaded to suspend his licence for three months rather than revoking it permanently.
Abdul’s lawyer told the committee he temporarily stepped back from running the premises while setting up a new business in Barnet, adding: “There were no issues prior to him stepping back.
“Mr Yakub Kanat, due to financial pressures, wrongly operated in a manner which is not acceptable… and allowed a crowd into the premises who I would say is the problem.
“He’s resigned and has left. Mr Abdul will be in control [now] and make sure this particular group won’t gain entry.”
He explained that, in future, only members and a limited number of their guests would be able to use the venue and would have to show their ID in order to enter.
He added: “That, in my experience, means that people who are attending are less likely to be troublemakers because they can be identified and tracked down.”
The business also entirely denies a report made to police that drugs were being dealt on the premises.
Snooker Lovers Club is currently unable to open until 26th April due to a temporary closure order put in place by Thames Magistrates Court.
Councillors also chose to reduce the club’s closing time from 1am Monday to Sunday to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 10.30pm on weeknights.
The venue will also have to have a member of staff on the door in the evenings, from 8.30pm onwards, and cannot admit anyone under the age of 16.