A North London pub that police were called to more than 20 times over the past three years has had its new licence application refused.

A Metropolitan Police officer called The Field, on Neasden Lane, one of the worst pubs in the borough for crime’.

Formerly known as Sal’s Bar, the pub had its licence taken away in 2017, 2018, and 2021 when it was run by a different manager.

The new applicant, Patrick Joseph Finn, was looking for a licence to be able to sell alcohol as well as to play live and recorded music until midnight. 

However, police remained concerned that it still has ties with the former owner and the crimes would return.

Met officer PC Phil Graves told Brent Council’s alcohol and entertainment licensing sub-committee on Tuesday, April 4: “The Field is one of the worst pubs in the borough for issues and crime. The fact that the licence has been revoked three times already raises serious concerns from a crime and disorder perspective.”

During a visit on February 14 this year, a male found inside the premises initially gave officers the name of the new applicant, Met Police said. However, when questioned further the force claimed he admitted that he was actually the previous licence holder.

PC Graves added: “My understanding is [the previous owner] was not to have any involvement. The police have serious concerns about this gentleman having any involvement in the running of the pub.”

The Field had previously been closed following multiple reports of crime and disorder on the premises, including drug taking at the pub, threats made with a bottle, a drunk couple in charge of a baby, and a drunk woman making threats to kill.

PC Graves said: “Over the last three years, there have been 20 crimes linked to The Field. The majority of them were... assaults fuelled by intoxicants and drunks. The police oppose the application in full”

The Met also raised concerns about the pub possibly operating without a licence to serve alcohol. During a visit on February 3, an officer’s report referenced seeing alcohol on the premises.

The report said: “I could see that their fridges were fully stocked with alcohol and there was cash in the till. When we asked why there was cash in the till if they were not operating they explained that it was because they were getting ready to re-open once they received their alcohol licence.”

Anette Piperal was the designated premises supervisor (DPS) on site at the time of the police visit. She told the committee that she had put the £50 of her own money in the till as a float. She claims that this has still not been paid back to her and she had not received any money from the applicant since she started working for him.

The meeting took place without Mr Finn who had, after initially joining, left saying he needed to consult with his solicitor. Ms Piperal said she had previously been unaware of the premises’ chequered history and hearing about it had “made [her] reconsider the whole thing”.

Brent Council licensing officer Esther Chan had requested that the application be refused. She told the committee that Mr Finn “will have little or no control over how the business is run”. The committee ultimately agreed.

Following a period of deliberation, the sub-committee opted against granting a licence. The council’s legal advisor, Archie Madden, read out a statement outlining that the committee is “not satisfied” that the licence holder or DPS will be able to manage the pub in accordance with the licensing objectives.

The statement added: “The premises has an extensive and concerning history of problems including crime and drunkenness. The failure by Mr Finn to attend the full hearing did not permit the committee to explore with him relevant issues of management.”