Birmingham bar shut down after ignoring Covid-19 rules

Birmingham City Council has suspended the licence of a bar in Hockley for ignoring Covid-19 regulations on social distancing.

Police had forced an urgent review of PBs on Key Hill to scrutinise claims it is “associated with serious crime and disorder” because it was flouting the post-lockdown rules.

Sgt Nick Giess described PBs as “the worst premises that I’ve been dealing with in Birmingham” at a licensing hearing held on Wednesday.

The licensing committee has suspended the premises licence until a full review takes place on September 14. It has also removed Nickeshia Reid-Davidson as the designated premises supervisor, which is the person legally responsible for ensuring venues operate within the terms of its licence.

In its judgement, the committee said: “The Covid-19 virus is a pandemic which has required all licensed premises to act responsibly and in accordance with both the law and the Government Guidance when trading, in order to save lives.

“It was therefore a flagrant public nuisance for any licensed premises to breach the Government guidance by trading in an unsafe manner.”

The Covid-19 regulations that bars must follow include no loud music, no standing except to go to the bar, customers must be sat in bubbles that are suitably distant, no live entertainment indoors and no dancing.

West Midlands Police said they had previously given advice to the Reid-Davidson about her responsibilities.

The expedited review took place after officers from West Midlands Police had visited the venue several times this month before handing out an anti-social behaviour closure notice in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Sgt Giess said: “The premises shows no actual engagement in the whole Covid process. Having visited the premises on a number of occasions, I’m genuinely concerned for the health and safety of the clientele, as well as myself and my officers who are placed in this situation.”

Reid-Davidson told the committee that changes had been made following visits by police officers, but accepted that she had “failed in many ways” in her role.