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BIRMINGHAM: Shisha bar customers ‘defecating in gardens’

BIRMINGHAM: Shisha bar customers ‘defecating in gardens’

Elite Bar And Lounge in Hockley - image courtesy of Google Street View

A Hockley shisha bar should have its licence revoked after being associated with a string of assaults, stabbings and anti-social behaviour, it has been claimed.

Elite Bar and Lounge on St George’s street is due before the council’s licensing committee for a review next week after police, the fire service and scores of local residents all wrote to the council asking that its licence be removed.

Residents have described seeing drug use, gang violence and intimidation at the venue over the past few months, with one even claiming that patrons to the club often ‘urinate and defecate’ in streets and gardens around the venue.

And some have claimed that patrons from the bar are using their premises as a ‘public toilet’, with images showing urine-soaked walls, dirty streets and discarded laughing gas cannisters.

Around 50 local residents have signed petitions calling for the club to have its licence revoked, with a letter from the school stating: “It is of concern to us parents and staff that these premises…is within close proximity of our school (St Georges Academy Newtown) and proven with CCTV footage to be defiling the streets our children use to get to school.”

And police records show at least five assaults and three stabbings have taken place at the venue over the past five months.

Writing to the council ahead of Monday’s (Dec 20) meeting, one resident said: “In the past when the Elite Shisha Lounge was operating without a licence, St George’s Street and Hospital Street has been littered with drug paraphernalia, which has often made its way into the school playground.

“CCTV images show abuses of public safety, visitors to the nightclub are urinating and defecating in the streets and in the gardens of local residents, and the disposal of alcoholic beverages and takeaway food has also found its way on to the school playground in addition to drug paraphernalia.”

“It attracts a crowd of people that don’t seem to care for the area at all,” writes another resident.

“Litter everywhere, smashed bottles, gas cannisters, urinating against our doors.

“We have witnessed car crashes from drunken staff, cars broken into outside our business. Assaults on people attending the premises are frequent, some involving multiple assailants. We have seen gang fights on CCTV and these have been requested by police.”

Police documents also make reference to there being ‘two stabbings in two nights’ at end of July/early August, and a potential kidnapping incident at the venue the weekend before.

There have also been two robbery offences linked to the premises, while West Midlands Fire Service also want to see the premises shut down due to its lack of fire safety.

The licensing meeting will take place on Monday (December 20).

Words: Tom Dare, Local Democracy Reporter

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