Brixton domino team triumph while club contests police licence review

Written by on December 1, 2017 in Community, Council, Crime, News - 1 Comment

Domino results

Brixton’s domino team have triumphed in this year’s Anglo Caribbean Domino League (ACDL), beating Wolverhampton by a wide margin (131-109) in the UK finals in Birmingham.

ACDL is the UK’s premier open-code domino league and represents the UK in international competitions.

Brixton team celebrations in Birmingham

But the team and the people who run the club at the Brixton Sports and Social Club in Coldharbour Lane where they play their home games had other things on their mind last night (30 November).

Lambeth council’s licensing sub-committee was considering an application by the Metropolitan police to review the club’s licence.

Represented by barrister Sarah Le Fevre, the police presented a list of alleged happenings at the club, which is also home to the Brixton Soup Kitchen and Lawyers in the Soup Kitchen.

They included drug dealing, assaults and reports of a robbery with a gun, as well as one allegation of late-night anti-social behaviour outside the club.

Committee members – councillors Michelle Agdomar, Linda Bray and Fred Cowell – also heard from Jamie Akinola, Lambeth council’s delivery lead for community safety.

Like all other witnesses before the committee, he went out of his way to stress that they did not want to close or harm the club.

Akinola went into the detail of how both the council and the police had been working with the club to improve how it operated.

Of the approximately 1,500 licensed venues in the borough of Lambeth, the Coldharbour Lane club is one of only two to operate with a club premises certificate – rather than the usual premises licence.

This means that the club is not necessarily bound by some of the stricter regulations that apply to licensed premises.

One of the complaints of the police was that building appeared on occasion to be hosting a “nightclub” rather than a members’ club.

But this, like the allegations of violence and robbery, was strongly disputed by Dr Mahamed Hashi, the elected chair of the club’s management board.

He disputed in detail almost every account of the problems mentioned in the police application and suggested that the police had “a lack of cultural understanding” about what might happen in a members’ club as opposed to a nightclub. “We do have a licence for music, we do have a licence for drinking and we do have a licence for dancing,” he said, adding the police interpretation of CCTV footage was “wilfully misleading”.

Dr Hashi also questioned what appeared to be a sudden decision to seek a licence review when the club was engaged in useful talks about its future with Lambeth council and other sections of the Metropolitan police.

After a meeting which had lasted more than three hours in a packed Karibu centre, the committee members decided to postpone their decision – which they must make within five days.

Link to online agenda for the meeting and the documents connected with it. Also contains link to recording of the meeting.

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

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