Councillors suspend licence of Paulsgrove’s last pub

Policing minister Nick Hurd with Havant MP Alan Mak

Havant MP says policing minister is ‘sympathetic’ to Hampshire police’s budget shortfall

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Councillors today suspended the licence of a Portsmouth pub after being told of poor management and its reputation for serious violence.

Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee took the decision to temporarily close Paulsgrove’s last remaining public house, The Cross Keys, in Birdlip Road.

It comes after a number of issues, highlighted in a report by Hampshire Constabulary at the site in the past year.

Speaking at the committee meeting this morning, PC Pete Rackham says licensing objectives at the pub had been ‘seriously undermined’ by the ‘ineffective management’ of the pub’s supervisor – Stephen Greaves.

Mr Greaves has since been sacked and removed from the pub by the firm which holds the pub’s licence, Hawthorn Leisure Limited.

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.

PC Rackham told the committee today that Mr Greaves had been passively obstructive and unhelpful when it came to helping police tackle the violence.

When asked for CCTV footage of the latest assaults, Mr Greaves told officers that he did not know how to operate the system, forcing police to seize the hard-drive to protect any evidence which may have been recorded.

Councillors agreed to suspend the pub’s licence for one month while improvements to the site’s CCTV system are implemented.