Beorma Nightclub - quickest revocation in licensing history?

April 2016

In what must be one of the shortest intervals between the grant of a premises licence and its revocation, on 13 April 2016 Birmingham City Council revoked the premises licence of the new Beorma Club in the city centre at a full summary review hearing. The revocation came just 5 weeks after the club was granted a new 4am premises licence on 9 March 2016.

 

The police-led summary review followed serious disorder outside the club on 13 March involving gang-associated customers which culminated in a gun being discharged in the street. Although SIA staff witnessed the shot, and could hardly have missed it, nobody from Beorma thought it appropriate to call the police. Evidence later suggested the licence holder himself had over-ridden the judgment call of the SIA staff. CCTV revealed that the "shooter" had been able to enter the club without being searched or identified, that door staff failed to disperse congregating crowds outside the premises as required by conditions and, instead of protecting the premises and its customers, SIA staff were being utilised to bring a "Coffin" to VIP tables containing 10 bottles of champagne topped off by flairs.

 

At an earlier interim steps hearing the council had suspended the premises licence but left open the possibility of a single pre-booked event taking place with a guest appearance from the US Rapper (and former corrections officer) Rick Ross. But this event could only take place if a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) approved it upon receipt of further details. When the SAG vetoed the proposed event due to the severity of the risks involved, the licence holder indicated he would ignore the veto and hold the event regardless. Police responded by successfully applying to the magistrates’ court for a closure order under the new powers within Part IV of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

 

Gary Grant of Francis Taylor Building represented West Midlands Police instructed by Tim Woodward of the Police Legal Department.

 

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