UNACCOMPANIED children have been banned from going to a kebab shop late at night as the eatery was ordered to train its staff to spot signs of child sexual abuse.
Istanbul Grill, in London Road, Waterlooville, had its licence modified last October after Havant Borough Council slammed it for a ‘failure in the management of the premises’ with regard to the ‘prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm’.
The kebab shop had been forced to stop serving each day after 11pm following a wider police probe that uncovered alleged child sex crimes against three teenagers.
Police reported up to 30 youngsters from the area were at risk from different types of threats. The investigation led to three men being arrested over abuse allegations with police admitting they had grave concerns over grooming in the area.
Chief inspector Clare Jenkins, Havant district commander, said last year: ‘We’ve chosen to lift the lid on it. We potentially have a group of vulnerable people together who can be influenced by people with another agenda.’
Hasan Demirkol, licence holder and owner of Istanbul Grill for 10 years, appealed the decision at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court. Magistrates granted consent to have its hours back as long as it meets certain conditions.
These include having staff trained to recognise indicators of child sexual exploitation and being made aware how to report concerns. Under-18s are not allowed to enter the premises after 8pm unless they are with an adult.
Other conditions include producing documents accepted by the Home Office on all employees before they start working for the shop and keeping a record of those who have worked there for 12 months after they have left. A code of conduct in relation to food deliveries in order to promote safeguarding was also stipulated.
Non-mandatory conditions include having two members of staff on the premises at all times and any child that enters the shop is not allowed to enter the area that is used for cooking and preparing of food. Customers who are drunk or causing a nuisance are also not allowed to be served.
Demirkol said last year: ‘If I was in the wrong I wouldn’t appeal.’ He said he had complied with changes police asked him to make, had replaced all staff, and had not seen any wrongdoing taking place on his premises.
News of the probe last year provoked far-right protests outside the business.