Company speaks out over future of Portsmouth pub facing closure following serious incidents

Ken's Fried Chicken in Commercial Road, Portsmouth Picture:  Google Maps

Thug knocks out woman outside Ken’s Fried Chicken

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THE company which operates a Portsmouth pub at threat of closure following a spate of violent incidents has spoken out over its future.

The future of The Cross Keys, in Paulsgrove, is uncertain after police raised concerns over the way it was being run.

In a report, PC Pete Rackham says the venue’s licensing objectives have been ‘seriously undermined’ by ‘ineffective management’.

As reported, the most recent serious incident came on May 26 this year, when a man was attacked with a glass at the pub and left with a broken leg.

Yet customers at the pub interviewed by police said they ‘did not see anything’ – and officers say the victim declined to co-operate with their investigations.

PC Rackham has claimed it has proved difficult to get hold of the firm which holds the pub’s licence – Hawthorn Leisure Limited – to address concerns.

But in a statement, Hawthorn said it is working with the police to ensure things are addressed properly.

A company spokeswoman said: ‘We are working closely with the police to investigate concerns regarding the running of the Cross Keys pub.

‘We take our licensing responsibilities very seriously and review rare situations like this on an individual basis.

‘We will decide on any course of action once our investigations are complete.’

Readers on The News Facebook page defended the pub, the only one left on the Paulsgrove estate.

Tony Worrall said: ‘Oh no, not the keys, have many good memories from there, my mum and dad went there on its opening night.’