Trade consultant warns of police 'over-stepping the mark' during ‘week of action'

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Licence review hearing, License, Police, Lincolnshire police

Michael Kheng: he is concerned that some police forces may 'over-step the mark' during the 'week of action'
Michael Kheng: he is concerned that some police forces may 'over-step the mark' during the 'week of action'
A leading pub trade consultant has warned of some police forces “over-stepping the mark” during the up-coming ‘week of action’ on licensing and alcohol related harm.

The ‘week of action’ is set to take place between 16 and 22 September and it is thought that the week will see increased enforcement activity.

Michael Kheng’s warning follows his win in a complaint case against Lincolnshire Police officers using damning language against him and his premises — Kai’s Bar in Mablethorpe — in a licence review application.

Kheng, of Kurnia Licensing Consultants and a former licensee, was awarded costs of £4,200, received an apology from Lincolnshire Police, and the officers involved were given “management advice”.


The case was raised after Kheng won a licence review hearing. However, he believed that the language used by police in the application could damage Kai’s Bar, the company and his name if not addressed.

Accusations in the review application included: “The licence holder, at best, has been negligent. In the worst case scenario, the licence holder has intentionally obstructed the investigation...”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) upheld five of the six areas of complaint.

Kheng added: “Our case is not isolated. Many reviews are written in a way to try and discredit the premises.”

He referred to the S182 Guidance which notes: “The police should be the licensing authority’s main source of advice on matters relating to the promotion of
the crime and disorder licensing objective...”

“Licensing committees therefore believe that what the police present is fact,” Kheng told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser. “The police have been getting away with this for far too long. I decided I must take a stand and highlight the problem licensees are facing.”

Over-stepping the mark

He added: “I’m worried that during the ‘week of action’ some forces may want to be seen to be doing things and therefore may over-step the mark, and
that licensees won’t challenge this.”

The police ordered Kheng’s licence review hearing, which took place on 23 January 2012, after he refused to hand over CCTV footage from Kai’s Bar in Mablethorpe. Kheng maintained that he was obeying data protection laws after police requested CCTV footage from his bar without explaining who they were looking for.

Lincolnshire Police then obtained a court order to seize the CCTV tapes.

Related topics: Licensing law

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