Spalding

Spalding pub loses premises licence over regular drug problems

A pub in Spalding has had its premises licence revoked by South Holland District Council for persistent drug offences.

The Black Swan, of New Road in Spalding, failed to address issues with drug usage, including “regular use of cocaine” and other controlled drugs, at the venue taking place over a number of years.

Licence holder John Parr attended the council’s Licensing Panel hearing on Thursday, October 10.

The council panel ruled that the premises licence should be revoked, subject to appeal, due to a failure to implement the previously imposed conditions.

It was also due to the minimal amount of effort shown to resolve the longstanding drug problems at the venue.

Police first intervened in 2011 after receiving intelligence of drug activity on the premises, and has made repeated visits in relation to the issue over a number of years.

During a visit in July 2019, Lincolnshire Police found high levels of cocaine in different areas of the premises, including in bathroom cubicles, on a snooker table and at the bar.

A small trace of cocaine was also found when designated premises supervisor Stuart Neil Adams was swabbed for drugs in July, although police said this “could be put down to working in an environment with higher cocaine readings”.

The inspection was made just 12 months after a previous review of the licence by the district council. Police had again found high readings of drug usage. A number of additional licensing conditions were then added for the pub to comply with.

Evidence was given during the latest hearing, which showed the pub was failing to meet a number of these conditions.

This included the requirement to introduce and promote a full zero tolerance drugs policy, providing adequate levels of training for staff, and being able to evidence that regular and thorough checks were being performed and recorded by staff.

The ban on alcohol sales at the premises will come into effect in November, depending on whether an appeal is lodged.

“The Black Swan has had ample time and opportunity to resolve the drug issues at the pub and to become compliant with the conditions on the premises licence,” said documents.

“The premise licence holder and designated premises supervisor have failed to ensure licensing objectives are promoted and Lincolnshire Police believe serious consideration should be given to revocation of the premises licence.”