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Hampshire Constabulary has reported for summons in relation to a £1,000 fixed penalty notice, the licensee of a Totton pub, for breaches of the current Health Protection Regulations in force in tier two areas of England.
At around 7:30pm on Saturday 12 December in the Elephant & Castle on Commercial Road, licensing officers carrying out routine checks observed people drinking alcohol at tables where they had not ordered food as per the current restrictions in place. At the pool table, people were seen stood up playing pool, In the beer garden, groups were stood playing table football and drinking alcohol. In the kitchen minimal food was being prepared at the time and the number of people in the bar far outweighed the small number of food tickets being prepared. CCTV was checked & customers could be seen entering the pub, standing at the bar, walking around the pub without facemasks, and drinking numerous alcoholic drinks without meals. A birthday party was seen on CCTV to be in progress without people staying in their household groups or consuming food with their drinks. The officers engaged with the licensee before ultimately reporting him for summons in relation to the fixed penalty notice for a blatant breach of the regulations.
We will now carry out work with the licensee to ensure their future adherence to the regulations along with our colleagues from New Forest District Council.
PS Robert Cohen from the force’s licensing team said: “This was a blatant breach of the current Health Protection Regulations. We are working hard to ensure that everyone is observing the restrictions in place and is safe during the pandemic.
“The guidelines in place around hospitality are clear, it is very disappointing therefore that this pub felt that it was appropriate to put everyone at risk and operate as if the pandemic is not taking place. We are working with partners, including the city council, to ensure where businesses or individuals breach the regulations, that this is addressed quickly to provide reassurance to the community..
“We hope this sends a message to other businesses that breaching the regulations will be dealt with robustly to ensure everyone’s safety”.