Neasden pub refused late licence amid fears around crime

The Field has replaced Sal's Bar and has new management

The Field has replaced Sal's Bar and has new management but Brent's licencing committee still blocked a late licence - Credit: Google

A Neasden pub that broke lockdown rules under its former owner, and has had ongoing issues with drugs and violence, has been refused a late-night licence. 

Brent Council’s licensing sub-committee blocked an application at The Field, in Neasden Lane, formerly known as Sal’s Bar, after historical concerns raised by the police and council officers. 

Under previous management, the bar had its licence revoked on three occasions, and was open when Covid lockdown rules were in place. 

Several incidents since September 2021 include a customer who threatened others with a bottle, and another where a very drunk couple appeared to be in charge of a baby.

There have been multiple reports of drug taking at the pub, while visitors are often excessively drunk. 

Officers from both the police and Brent Council acknowledged past issues could not be attributed to the current management, but expressed fears that further problems could occur. 

They suggested the applicant, Patrick Finn, did not have a firm grasp on how to address this. 

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Met Police licensing officer Paul Scott said: “The Field is a small local pub that will attract the same type of clientele who will expect that the venue will be run as before. I am unsure as to what changes Mr Finn could bring to this premises that would uphold the licensing objectives.”

Brent Council's licensing officer Esther Chan said she had "serious concerns" adding: 

“It is questionable whether Mr Finn will have much involvement in the business and his answers to my questions contradict the information on application form.”

There were concerns around the amount of time Mr Finn would spend at the pub, after he said he would try to be there “during busy times” on Friday and Saturday.  

Mr Finn said: “I know myself that I can run the business 100 per cent without any crime coming from it.  I’ve dealt with it in the past and have never had to call the police.

"I know I’m in a different situation and will have to weed out some of the previous customers and unsatisfactory behaviour. I know that will take a week or two but I intend to do so and run the premises properly, as it should be run.”

The licensing committee was worried about his knowledge of the local problems and concerned that he did not understand the four licensing objectives outlined for running a safe premises in Brent.