Portsmouth pub keeps licence after owners agree safety measures

SHUT UP SHOP The Swan in Cosham will not be reopening soon
SHUT UP SHOP The Swan in Cosham will not be reopening soon

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A PUB ordered to shut after a man’s skull was fractured in a brawl there is allowed to keep trading after agreeing to a series of new licensing conditions.

The Swan in High Street, Cosham, Portsmouth, was closed for 21 days after police called for an emergency hearing last month.

As reported in The News, licensing councillors took the drastic step after a 52-year-old man’s head was stamped on during a fight following Wales’s Rugby World Cup clash against France.

Three men – a 31-year-old from Wales, a 30-year-old from Portsmouth and a 50-year-old from Southsea – were quizzed in connection with the crime but later bailed until January.

Police also raised concerns about other alcohol-related violence including a woman brandishing a knife during a lock-in and a fight in which the then manager and a door staff member were attacked.

But police say owners Punch Taverns responded quickly by sacking the designated premises supervisor Adrian Woods and manager Colin Nash.

Now councillors have ruled the pub can stay open after police and Punch Taverns agreed a raft of conditions to ensure public safety.

These include updating the CCTV system and adding a camera at the front of the pub. Bouncers must be on the doors from 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights and the pub must have written drug and ejection policies.

The venue must also introduce a ‘Challenge 25’ policy and anyone involved in the sale of alcohol must be trained to a standard agreed with police. The pub will stay closed as the firm seeks new management.

PC Keith Hall, from Portsmouth’s alcohol-related violent crime, said: ‘The committee originally thought it was totally inappropriate to let the pub continue to trade.

‘Overall we have shown a united front in that they have also received potential problems and taken really big steps to ensure they change things and improve matters. Punch Taverns has also taken the step of saying they will keep the pub closed until they feel they are ready to open in accordance with the new conditions. It is very refreshing to hear that from a company.’