Future of Portsmouth Kens Kebab House in the balance following spike in violent crime
A POPULAR fast food joint along Portsmouth city centre's nightclub strip could be forced to close following a rise in violent incidents.
Police say too much trouble is flaring up at Kens Kebab House, in Guildhall Walk, after 3am, when it should be closed in keeping with the conditions on its licence.
While a security guard previously jailed for an ‘unprovoked attack’ at the takeaway was caught back on duty.
Concerns over the takeaway, operated by businessman Naseem Ahmed, have prompted senior officers to compile a dossier for Portsmouth City Council’s licensing authority, recommending it to take its licence away.
Licensing officer PC Pete Rackham said: ‘It is the view of the chief officer of police that Mr Ahmed has failed to comply with this premise license conditions and adhere to his permitted hours.
‘As such, he has broken the law and committed offences under the Licensing Act 2003.
‘In tandem with this failure to operate in accordance with the law, the premises has seen an increase in violent incidents.’
He added the only ‘realistic measure’ to prevent crime and disorder is to ‘revoke the licence’.
Police say two assaults took place on August 28 and October 2 last year at 4am and 4.25am, when hot food was still being served.
A door supervisor on duty at the takeaway on October 13 had previously been sentenced to eight months prison, ‘despite causing GBH injuries to someone previously at the premises in an unprovoked attack’.
While on November 6, another door supervisor attempted to break up an altercation between a man and a doorman from another venue.
Police say this happened at 3.23am, outside agreed operating hours.
CCTV collected by police of activity between November 5 and 6 showed ‘numerous transactions of money in exchange for food to members of the public for up to two hours after the premises ceased to have any authority to perform licensable activities.’
While police licensing officials saw it was open at 4am on November 13.
Acting on behalf of Mr Ahmed, Blake Morgan LLP Solicitors said in a statement: ‘Mr Ahmed would like to express his sincere apologies to the police and to Portsmouth City Council that it has been necessary to make an application to review his licence.
‘He would like to assure the committee that there will be no repeat of his error in judgement in trading longer hours than were permitted by his premises licence.
‘Naseem is a man of good character and has never done anything like this before, and will never do so again.’
Mr Ahmed has been operating late-night food outlets in the city since 1990.’
He works in partnership with his brother Saleem and they have eight premises in Portsmouth, one in Waterlooville and another in Fareham.
A file has been submitted with a view to prosecuting Mr Ahmed for five counts of carrying on a licensable activity on premises otherwise than under and in accordance with an authorisation.