March 4, 2022 1.30 pm

Lincoln nightclub faces losing licence after series of police visits

Report to go before council

A Lincoln nightclub faces losing its licence after police said it showed a “clear lack of compliance” with rules.

The City of Lincoln Council will examine a request by Lincolnshire Police to review Simon Ward’s licence for Place2B on Butchery Court following a series of incidents at the premises ranging from criminal damage to assault.

In one incident in December a male victim, who police say was assaulted in the premises, is said to have had access “seemingly unchallenged” to a staff area behind the bar.

In another incident in November, Lincolnshire Police received a report that two females were at the premises on their own except for staff and “were allowed free access to the drinks at the bar, free of charge, which then led to a report of a criminal offence which is still under investigation”.

In January, police say a female employee was found unconscious beside a skip near to the club. She alleged her drink may have been spiked, however, investigations did not find evidence to support the statement. CCTV appears to show Mr Ward drinking with two female employees and another male after the bar had closed, until 7am.

A police search also revealed cocaine was found in the toilets of the nightclub.

Lincolnshire Police’s documents record a ‘series of failings’ including claims of not having enough door supervisors on, and a lack of compliance with filling in staff training, door supervisor logs and challenge 25 records. In one incident Mr Ward was found to be acting as both DJ and door supervisor, police say.

A statement from PC Rebeka Casey said: “The clear non-compliance in relation to door staff is concerning given that the primary purpose of door staff is to ensure the safety of both staff and customers at the venue.

“Lincoln and, in fact, the country has seen a recent increase in reports of drink spiking. The vast majority of venues are aware of this concern and are working proactively to ensure the safety of their patrons.”

A report by The Lincolnite in December found there had been an 850% increase in reports of drink spiking in the county in 2021, with 33 incidents in Lincoln – 20 of which occurred in October.

She added: “The very fact that Place2B can’t adhere to the licence conditions and employ sufficient door staff is concerning to say the least in the current climate.”

Police said Mr Ward had been given ample time to rectify the issues found during their visits.

The report before councillors said: “Lincolnshire Police have attempted to work with Mr Ward using a stepped approach however he has failed to recognise his responsibility and failings as ‘premises licence holder’ and ‘designated premises supervisor’ and so there has been no improvement.

“Lincolnshire Police do not have confidence in Mr Ward and his ability to adhere to the premises licence conditions.

“If Mr Ward cannot accept his failings and responsibilities, then the only other option is a revocation of the premises licence as the licensing objectives will, on the balance probabilities, remain consistently undermined.”

Local Democracy Reporters attempted to contact Mr Ward using an email advertised on the venue’s Facebook Page, however it bounced back.