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Representation in response to summary review of a premises licence 21/00012/LAPRE

Name and address of the premises about which a representation is being made

Bloc 40, First Floor, 40 High Street, Brentwood, CM14 4AJ

Our representation

We call for Bloc 40’s licence to be revoked.

We are saddened, but not surprised, to hear that, according to the Essex Live online newspaper, two stabbings took place in and around Bloc 40. We feel that Bloc 40 has shown a consistent pattern of failure to prevent crime and disorder, despite repeated reports to Brentwood Borough Council (the Licensing Authority) and Essex Police from local residents since the nightclub/pub opened in March 2019.

Our previous representation concerning Bloc 40, submitted in July 2020 in response to application 20/00004/LAPRE, was focussed primarily on the severity of the public nuisance caused by Bloc 40, and our lack of confidence in the adequacy of the measures proposed in application 20/00004/LAPRE. However, we did also express concerns about Bloc 40’s failure to prevent crime and disorder. In particular, we wish to draw attention to the following comment we made in July 2020:

"the "Intervals of Monitoring of the Terrace" are inadequate -- in 30 minutes, a lot of crime, disorder, or public nuisance could easily take place (see also our earlier comment about the anxiety that has been induced by the severe screaming and shouting)"

We do not know the precise circumstances that led to the two stabbings, but we would not be surprised if inadequate security on the premises enabled the crimes to take place (the reporting from the Essex Live implies that the first stabbing took place in Bloc 40 itself, and the second stabbing took place outside in the immediate vicinity).

Regarding the "severe screaming and shouting", we wish to remind the Licensing Authority that we have, on multiple occasions in 2019 and 2020, felt it necessary to call the police when the nature and extent of the noise we could hear exceeded mere rowdiness and gave genuine cause for alarm. We do not know the outcome of those calls, since the telephone operatives with whom we have spoken have tended to remain circumspect (indeed, they have sometimes given the impression of being completely unconcerned, on the grounds that we could not actually see what was happening), although we do recall one occasion when an operative admitted that they were already aware of an incident that they had determined as warranting police attention.

As you can imagine, instances of "severe screaming and shouting" elicit considerable anxiety. We feel it is imperative that the High Street should be a place where everyone in the community can feel safe. We do not want the High Street to become a "no-go" area for law-abiding citizens, and trust that Essex Police will take the necessary action to assure the area’s safety and inspire confidence from local residents.

We are disappointed that our previous complaints did not result in more effective enforcement action against Bloc 40. We trust that, in light of the two stabbings that took place recently, the Licensing Authority will take decisive action and revoke Bloc 40’s licence.