Concerns raised by police over city pub
A CITY centre pub has escaped punishment for the time being after police shared concerns over several incidents at the venue in a short space of time.
Police Scotland had written to Dundee City Council after revealing it had been called out to a number of incidents at the Balcony Bar on Ward Road between February and April.
These included threats to staff, assaults and disturbances.
The pub was also facing sanctions from the licensing board after it emerged that premises licence holder Kirstyn Bruce had forged a staff member’s signature after her own licence had expired.
She had signed the name of the staff member – named in proceedings as Ms Carson – on paperwork for a new premises licence holder, when she should have signed it herself as an agent, on behalf of the bar worker.
Officers also found that a personal licence holder was not always on site after 1am during late night openings – a legal requirement for such premises.
Solicitor Archie Mciver said Ms Bruce accepted she had made a mistake, and that “mitigating circumstances” – including the death of her father – had temporarily affected her ability to effectively run the bar.
He also disputed police concerns about the safety of customers owing to repeat call-outs and said measures were in place to avoid further problems, such as ensuring personal licence holders are on shift from at least 10pm.
Mr Mciver said: “The first thing that is drilled into personal licence holders during training is to get police involved if something is concerning them.
“We haven’t got a pat on the back for doing that. Instead it is being used against us, for doing something that every licence holder is trained to do.
“These premises have been run by someone with 29 years of experience, four years of which at the Balcony Bar, and she has taken steps to ensure these issues do not reoccur.”
Licensing board convener Stewart Hunter chose to defer a decision on whether to impose sanctions.
However, he warned: “If there are still issues police will have the power to take action as required at a later stage.”