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Published: Monday, 7th January 2019

A restaurant and a supermarket have both had their alcohol licences revoked due to concerns around anti-social behaviour and violence.

Jatra Cuisine (also known as Hamro Chautari), on Plumstead High Street, and Euro Food and Wine, Plumstead Road, were prevented from selling alcohol at a meeting of the Royal Borough’s Licensing Review Sub-Committee on 19 December, after representations from the police and Council licensing officers.

Foodway Asia Ltd, which held the licence for Jatra Cuisine, had been temporary suspended from selling alcohol after a summary review hearing on 23 November due to two Council officers calling the police during a fight taking place outside the premises where a man waved a knife dangerously. The police were called by the officers and an arrest was made. 

During the December sub-committee meeting, PC Giles Balestrini stated that no staff from Jatra Cuisine had called the police and the barman was instead filming the incident. On behalf of the company, Mr Sohata conceded that that the premises needed to do better. 

In the same committee hearing, councillors also heard residents’ concerns about the way Euro Food and Wine was being run. In October its 24-hour licence was reduced to 9am-11pm, but was temporarily suspended a month later.

Police had seen footage of alcohol being sold outside permitted hours, as well as high strength alcohol, while the staff member on duty was unable to operate the CCTV system, which was found to be faulty. 

Mr Thavaseelen, one of the licence holders of Euro Food and Wine, admitted to an error of judgment during the hearing.

Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement, said: "We will not hesitate to take action when concerns are raised about anti-social behaviour and public safety, particularly regarding the sale of strong alcohol."

The licence holders can appeal within 21 days of receiving the written decisions, though in the interim both premises’ licences remain suspended.

Alcohol-related crime in Woolwich has reduced by 10 per cent since the 2014 launch of the Reducing the Strength campaign, with 100 retailers so far pledging to not sell strong drink. The scheme, led by the Council and the police, has now been extended to other parts of the borough which have been affected by anti-social behaviour linked to street drinking.

Traders can sign up to Reducing the Strength by calling the Licensing department on 020 8921 8018.