Police call for Haverfordwest venue's licence to be revoked
2:20pm Wednesday 11th July 2012 in County News
Alleged underage drinking and sex along with a lack of management communication have led police to call for a Haverfordwest town centre night spot's licence to be revoked.
Dyfed-Powys Police has "grave concerns" about the management of Minnies Nite Spot after a number of incidents which resulted in teenagers being taken to hospital following what are billed as 16 to 21-year-old events.
In a shocking report police state that it is "only by good fortune" that no-one has died from excessive ingestion of alcohol "as a consequence of these events at Minnies".
Minnies is owned by Rose Owen of Haverfordwest, who is also the Premises Licence Holder.
Included in police reports is an eyewitness statement from a man who recognised an "extremely vulnerable girl" so intoxicated an ambulance was called in February this year.
A girl of 14 was observed under the influence of alcohol on the premises and two other teenagers were taken to hospital.
Inspector Kath Griffiths, who prepared the licensing report, said that this event had been intended to be of those aged over 16 but door staff were not checking the ages of the children attending or ensuring that the location was safe.
The report adds that photocopied ID of passport , some altered, were being accepted by door staff and a lack of ability to care for those who have pre-loaded - got drunk before attending - puts young people at risk.
Concerns were also about a number of people significantly older than 21 in attendance - an age limit imposed to protect young people from predatory older people.
Police officers also reported finding "numerous young couples aged 15 and 14 in comprising positions in and around the riverside area".
Issues about communication and not informing the police about up coming events is also highlighted.
Pembrokeshire County Council's Licensing Sub-Committee will review its licence tomorrow (Thursday, July 12th).
If committee members decide not to revoke Mrs Owen's licence the police licensing team request that an over 21 age limit is put on the premises, it be closed for two months for management reflection and training, opening hours restricted to 11pm and the removal of Kelly Bower as Designated Premise Supervisor.
"If the DPS is removed then it is suggested that Mrs Owen does not hold this position as she has been present during these events and shown significant disregard for the protection of children from harm as wall as an inability to manage the premises," the report adds.
Mrs Owen told the Western Telegraph that she was being made a scape goat and had followed all recommendations made to her.
She also pointed out the number of up coming functions arranged including the town's walking carnival and carnival queen competition next month.
"I turned Minnies into a function centre last year.
"I have not served any alcohol to anyone underage nor am I being accused of it. The night in question was a family party which was put on Facebook and a load of youngsters turned up.
"I provide a much needed service to the people of the town as there is not a function centre. There have been no incidents of violence or anything like that. When having a family function the premises is not open to the general public.
"I'm not responsible or connected in anyway to the problems the council is having with child safety concerns and social services."