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Rochester’s Casino Rooms licence under review by police

A nightclub once said to be the source of more than 40% of violent crime in Medway is under review by police after a spate of incidents including alleged drink spiking.

Rochester’s Casino Rooms will be subject to scrutiny after police made a request to councillors.

A licensing review for the Blue Boar Lane club took place in 2016 following violent crimes, with police highlighting two particular incidents involving bottles which were used to attack people.

The licence was not taken away but conditions were imposed to improve safety.

Police claimed at the time the venue was responsible for 40% of Medway's violent crime.

The reasons for the review this time round were only given as “failing to promote” the four licensing objectives – “the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm”.

In November, 19-year-old Olivia Calvert was left ill for several days after her drink was spiked on a night. She claimed bouncers at the club "kicked her out for being drunk".

Several reported incidents of spiking happened at Casino Rooms over the Halloween period.

Ward councillor Stuart Tranter (Con) was not aware of specific incidents which could have prompted the move.

He said: “Late-night behaviour by a minority of people is an ongoing problem.

“People forget it is strongly residential, a lot of people live in and around the High Street area and of course do get affected.

“We have had several windows broken in recent weeks in some of the retail shops. I can’t attribute that to any particular venue, that would be wrong, but it is all part of that background that is ongoing in Rochester.

“I always take an interest in all licence applications. It’s trying to get a balance – I want to see businesses succeed, but also we have to keep the environment safe.

“It’s not to say that people shouldn’t be out enjoying themselves and that every resident in a town centre can expect it to be like the countryside, but there has to be a point of reasonableness, and there has been a lot of incidents in recent times resulting from the late-night economy.”

The venue, which is a member of the Safer Medway Partnership which involves businesses, Kent Police and Medway Council, gained recognition from the National Policing Awards for safety in December last year.

In response to the review, the club said: “We are deeply saddened by Kent Police’s decision.

“We have been continually working closely in partnership with them and are currently in the process of trialling initiatives that have already been discussed with them and the frameworks around their proposals.

“While we actively manage the venue to ensure customer safety and compliance, many of the issues raised are new information.

“We look forward to further working in partnership with Kent Police to reach a harmonious resolution, having had time to review and investigate the information.

“We, in partnership with the police, are committed to ensuring a safe night out for all.”

Members of the public can give their representations for the review until Friday, April 15 by writing to:


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