SCENES of ‘carnage’ in a violent brawl that saw a 17-year-old boy hit with a glass bottle has led to a snooker hall risking losing its licence.
Police have demanded the city council consider revoking the licence at the S2 Snooker Club, in Kingston Road, Fratton after the incident last year.
Around 200 people were in the members-only over-18s club on the night on November 12 when the boy was left with a laceration to the back of his head.
A report to the city council alleges that staff denied knowing of any attack, but police later watched CCTV and saw the doorman trying to break it up. Blood was wiped up and the area cleared ahead of police arriving, the report says.
PC Jason Pearce, who said there was ‘carnage’ at the club, said: ‘The cleaning of the scene and apparent lack of knowledge of the incident suggests an intention to avoid such an incident being linked to the premises.
‘This leaves us to conclude that similar incidents either do not normally occur at S2 Snooker club or incidents occur and are not reported.
‘Looking at the customer base and hours of operation, it is reasonable to believe that incidents probably do occur on a regular basis but are not reported to the police.’
The licence-holder had been warned in November 2015 about drug-taking in the toilets, ‘poor door steward attendance’, ‘weak’ management and ‘loud and intrusive music’.
One of the officers who responded to the incident last November, PC Andrea Heywood, said: ‘On viewing the CCTV, I believe it was just fortunate that there were not many more serious injuries caused as a result of this fight, especially in light of the fact that glass bottles were being thrown and used as weapons.’
Other incidents included:
n September 23, 2017, at 2.15am: Report of 15 people fighting outside the snooker hall. Two people fighting in the middle of the street. Split up when police arrived.
n April 17, 2017, at 11.25pm: Public order incident when woman was punched and had homophobic abuse shouted at her. One woman ‘lost seven teeth’, men ran back into snooker hall when police arrived. Around 200 people were reported to be in the snooker hall.
n December 3, 2017 at 1.34am: About 50 people in the street outside the snooker hall ‘quite drunk and getting worse’.
But in an email to the council, Chin To Lam, the licence-holder, said he was ‘trying very hard to do everything to protect the area and my club’.
He added: ‘Whatever the result, I am considering shutting down this venue anyway.
‘It has caused me a lot of stress during this period.
‘It is hard enough to try to keep a small business running in the current market, not to mention the confusion from the city council and the lack of support.’
He said the club did not exceed 200 people in the venue and added that two of the incidents were nothing to do with the club.