Guildhall Walk takeaway looks to secure new late-night hot food licence

Kens Kebab House in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth
Kens Kebab House in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth
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  • Kens Kebabs looks to secure late night hot food licence after council previously revoked it
  • Takeaway yet to hear from court after appealing former decision
  • Police raise fears about impact on violence in area
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A TAKEAWAY is calling for its late-night hot food premises licence to be restored despite police concerns over a history of violent incidents.

Kens Kebabs, at Portsmouth’s Guildhall Walk was stripped of its licence in January by Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee after the licence-holder owner admitted to illegally trading after 3am to ‘sustain business’.

It is the belief of the chief officer of police that these facts show that there is a very real and prevalent issues with violence in this area, particularly during the times the applicant wishes to operate

PC Pete Rackman on Kens Kebabs’ bid for a new licence

Owner and former licence-holder Naseem Ahmed, 50, of Cleek Drive, Bassett, breached the conditions in order to profit from late-night clubbers coming out of nightclubs Astoria and Zanzi.

He appealed the committee’s decision to Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, which is yet to be heard, meaning the takeaway is still allowed to sell hot food until 3am.

However, The News can reveal that Ahmed was ordered to pay £3,812 in fines and costs by magistrates last Wednesday after admitting continuing to serve after 3am.

The charges related to August 28, October 2 and November 5, 6 and 13.

Now his son Usman Ahmed has applied for the new licence. A decision will be made next Tuesday.

Ahead of the meeting, PC Pete Rackham said in a letter: ‘A number of incidents have occurred at the premises over the last 10 months which show that the premises has contributed to a cumulative impact in Portsmouth and also shows that crime and disorder do occur at the premises.’

In the letter he refers to an incident on January 29 at 11.39pm in which staff members were involved in an assault on customers.

He said another occasion saw a customer punch a doorman in the face after being asked to leave the premises.

PC Rackham said the worst violence in Guildhall Walk happens from 8pm to 5am.

He added: ‘It is the belief of the chief officer of police that these facts show that there is a very real and prevalent issues with violence in this area, particularly during the times the applicant wishes to operate.’

Nicki Humphreys, licensing manager at the council, expressed ‘concerns’ that the application is a ‘device’ to enable the premises to 
continue trading and that Naseem Ahmed would be in control.

The meeting at Portsmouth Guidhall starts at 9.30am.