Bar could lose licence amid police concerns over fights
A popular Ashford bar could have its licence taken away after police received 25 complaints in just six months – an average of one a week.
Police officers say the Auction House, in New Street, is “associated with serious crime, or serious disorder or both” after it was linked to incidents that have included fights and anti-social behaviour.
Ashford Borough Council’s licensing team will hold a full review of the town centre hotspot next Wednesday.
Police made an application to the council to hold an inquiry just four days after a brawl broke out at the late-night bar involving several members of Lancashire County Cricket Club last month.
The team had been in the bar celebrating that day’s victory over Kent when a fracas saw drinks and punches thrown with one player, Liam Livingstone, said to have been glassed in the face.
Bouncers from the club stepped in and took people outside while police and ambulance crews were called to the bar.
Although door and bar staff were praised for their “swift intervention” during the fight, the sub-committee members said they were concerned about glass being used as an “effective weapon”.
Since the interim review on August 19, the bar has been ordered to serve all drinks in plastic glasses.
In addition to the three serious assaults on August 16, police said they had received 25 calls relating to the premises between January 18 and August 1.
Under its current licence, The Auction House is able to play music and sell alcohol until 3am, seven days a week.
The committee will be able to amend certain points, add conditions or even revoke the licence altogether.
Police are keen to ensure drinks continue to be served in plastic glasses, that all staff are trained in responsible sales of alcohol, that a new CCTV system is installed and that Security Industry Authority (SIA) registered door staff remain on the premises until everyone has left.
When asked about the bar brawl, a police spokesman said no one had been arrested.
She added: “Inquiries are ongoing and we are still appealing for witnesses.”
Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 01843 222289 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting ZY/ 025414/15.
Above, Lancashire player Liam Livingstone is believed to have been injured during a brawl at The Auction House Bar in Ashfords New Street, right