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Troubled pub keeps licence

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A Newmarket High Street pub, which allowed a horse into its bar, has held on to its licence despite its record of violent crime, drug use and underage drink sales.

The Waggon and Horses was due to have had its licence reviewed on Monday but the application was withdrawn and the review hearing cancelled after Suffolk Police’s licensing department said it had agreed “a robust set of conditions” with the pub’s management.

Police had contacted the district’s licensing authority, which has the power to take the pub’s licence away, with evidence of increasing levels of crime, drug use and underage booze sales at the pub and film footage of a mounted horse inside the pub.

In a letter to the pub’s tenant, Adrian Ashford, Forest Heath’s police chief Inspector Matthew Rose said he had “grave doubts about the management of the premises” and considered it to be “poorly run with little regard to public safety.”

That conclusion, he said, was drawn from evidence of “drug use and smoking, serious assaults, the service of alcohol to children, the introduction of a horse into the premises, failure to call the police or ambulance, putting victims at further risk and intelligence obtained regarding the pub’s management attitudes to crime and drugs.”

Sgt Amanda Griggs, of the Suffolk Constabulary licensing department, said: “Suffolk Police licensing officers have been working closely with our partners to be able to agree a more robust set of conditions with the designated premises supervisor and manager at the Waggon and Horses.

“Due to an agreement being made and an improvement in operating procedures, we have been able to withdraw the current application to take the premises to review. “The brewery and the area management of the premises have worked closely with the police and the district council and once the new conditions are imposed, they will be subject to stringent checks and any failures will restart the review process.”

A spokeswoman for Greene King, the brewery which owns the pub, said: “Greene King prides itself on providing a safe and comfortable environment for customers. This is a busy and popular pub and we are working closely with the licensee and the police for the benefit of customers and the community.”

However the brewery refused to name the pub’s licensee.

 

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