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Romford Wetherspoons wants to remove ID scanning system at entrance despite police objections

PUBLISHED: 13:34 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 22 January 2019

Police officers patrol South Street, Romford, on September 8, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

Police officers patrol South Street, Romford, on September 8, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

Catherine Davison

A busy Romford bar has asked Havering Council for permission to stop using identity scanners in a move police fear could lead to a number of other venues asking to get rid of the security measure.

The Moon and Stars JD Wetherspoon pub in South Street will see its application – which asks for the mandatory use of ID scanners by security staff at the door to be discontinued – go before the council’s licensing committee next Wednesday (January 30).

The venue is currently licensed between the hours of 7am and 2.30am seven days a week.

JD Wetherspoon lodged the applicationon December 13 last year.

It adds no further details on any additional entry criteria the bar might employ should the use of identity scanners stop, or why management now want to stop using ID scanners.

The licensing condition which makes the scanners mandatory has been in place since 2016, and came about as a result of discussions between the venue and the police.

The Moon and Stars is located arouind 100m north of Romford Station, and sits in the mdidle of the town centre’s Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ), which means it is presumed the licensing committee will deny any application “unless the applicant can demonstrate why the operation of the premises involved will not add to the cumulative impact and not impact adversely on the promotion of the licensing objectives”.

Havering Borough Police have objected to the application.

In a formal objection submitted to Havering Council, Pc Adam Williams of the Metropolitan Police’s East Area licensing team confirmed the Met was objecting primarily due to concerns about crime and disorder and public nuisance.

He wrote: “The venue came to notice for a variety of offences. The offences in question ranged from violent offences to anti-social behaviour.

“As the police, we recognise that the reason for the premises being less troublesome is because of the presence of this condition.

“Equally we might recognise that the condition may be deemed intrusive by customers and would be a deterrent to customers attending the premises.

“We also recognise that if the venue was to remove the system it would quickly become a place that people, previously banned, or violent offenders would attend as they know they would not be checked.”

The police have also raised concerns that the removal of the ID scanners would set a precedent that could see other Romford nightlife venues also ask to get rid of their own ID scanners.

Havering Council’s licensing committee is due to rule on the application at Havering Town Hall, Romford, at 10.30am on Wednesday, January 30.

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