Harbour View in Wellington Road, Portslade could be closed after a series of offences

The Harbour View in Wellington Road, Portslade

The Harbour View in Wellington Road, Portslade

First published in News by , Crime reporter

A POPULAR pub at the centre of allegations regarding drunk-and-disorderly behaviour, sexual assault, under-age drinking and Class A drugs could be closed.

Sussex Police officers said that the way Harbour View in Wellington Road, Portslade, is being run is “well below acceptable standards” and they want the city council’s licensing committee to consider revoking its licence.

However, the licence-holder told The Argus the allegations are unfounded and he had “turned the pub around” since taking over.

A Sussex Police spokesman said license officers found traces of cocaine and heroin in the venue and a member of staff sold alcohol to a 16-year-old girl during a police test purchase.

The spokesman said: “There have been a number of incidents of concern associated with the premises.

“Among them have been assaults on police officers called to disturbances involving under-age Harbour View customers, children being sold alcohol and reports of women being sexually assaulted.

“There have also been recorded breaches of the conditions of the licence, including a lack of working CCTV, no training records being available and no evidence that toilets were being regularly checked.”

The submission to Brighton and Hove City Council concluded that there was “no other alternative” than to ask for the licence to be revoked and was an “appropriate and proportionate response to the levels of crime and disorder at the premises in addition to the breaches of licence conditions and the sale of alcohol to children”.

Artan Bika, 42, who has held the licence since October 2013, said the allegations were untrue.

He said the sexual assault allegations would be proven false and he planned to sack the member of staff who had served alcohol to a 16-year-old.

He said CCTV had been working for five to six months, any possible drugs use was down to a tiny minority who would be barred and no fights had broken out inside.

Mr Bika, who also runs the car-wash next door, said he had called police to deal with a regular customer who started attacking the pub windows from outside.

He said: “Why do I have to get punished like this?”

Customer Tony Hadden, 50, said the pub was a friendly place and he would miss it if the licence was revoked.

Sergeant Simon Morgan, Brighton and Hove licensing supervisor for Sussex Police, said a review application was a “last resort”.

A consultation on the review ends on September 17. The hearing must take place within 20 days after that.

Comments (17)

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8:39am Sat 23 Aug 14

Sidewinder says...

It's always been a S.H.I.T.H.O.L.E
It's always been a S.H.I.T.H.O.L.E Sidewinder
  • Score: 29

9:54am Sat 23 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

"A POPULAR pub at the centre of allegations regarding drunk-and-disorderly behaviour, sexual assault, under-age drinking and Class A drugs could be closed. "

So that explains its popularity.

Perhaps it should be relocated to Brighton, where it'll fit right in.
"A POPULAR pub at the centre of allegations regarding drunk-and-disorderly behaviour, sexual assault, under-age drinking and Class A drugs could be closed. " So that explains its popularity. Perhaps it should be relocated to Brighton, where it'll fit right in. notslimjim
  • Score: -30

12:16pm Sat 23 Aug 14

tinker111 says...

FULL HOUSE TONIGHT THEN GREAT PUB'Y FOR VENUE HAVE A GREAT EVENING ALL
FULL HOUSE TONIGHT THEN GREAT PUB'Y FOR VENUE HAVE A GREAT EVENING ALL tinker111
  • Score: 5

12:42pm Sat 23 Aug 14

hammerfan says...

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the pub it is a sad fact of life that if you close the premises the 'riff-raff' will just go somewhere else.
The Toby Inn at Woodingdean, The Whitehawk, Clyde and others were closed for similar reasons. All that was achieved was that the troublemakers moved elsewhere and ruined things were other people.
In addition some of the idiots travelled into the town centre to have their 'fun' with the result that late night buses were unpleasant to travel on.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the pub it is a sad fact of life that if you close the premises the 'riff-raff' will just go somewhere else. The Toby Inn at Woodingdean, The Whitehawk, Clyde and others were closed for similar reasons. All that was achieved was that the troublemakers moved elsewhere and ruined things were other people. In addition some of the idiots travelled into the town centre to have their 'fun' with the result that late night buses were unpleasant to travel on. hammerfan
  • Score: 27

4:41pm Sat 23 Aug 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

hammerfan wrote:
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the pub it is a sad fact of life that if you close the premises the 'riff-raff' will just go somewhere else.
The Toby Inn at Woodingdean, The Whitehawk, Clyde and others were closed for similar reasons. All that was achieved was that the troublemakers moved elsewhere and ruined things were other people.
In addition some of the idiots travelled into the town centre to have their 'fun' with the result that late night buses were unpleasant to travel on.
Agreed - this appears the proverbial bucket of dung to keep the flies off the cake.
[quote][p][bold]hammerfan[/bold] wrote: Whatever the rights and wrongs of the pub it is a sad fact of life that if you close the premises the 'riff-raff' will just go somewhere else. The Toby Inn at Woodingdean, The Whitehawk, Clyde and others were closed for similar reasons. All that was achieved was that the troublemakers moved elsewhere and ruined things were other people. In addition some of the idiots travelled into the town centre to have their 'fun' with the result that late night buses were unpleasant to travel on.[/p][/quote]Agreed - this appears the proverbial bucket of dung to keep the flies off the cake. From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: 15

4:46pm Sat 23 Aug 14

worthingite says...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz no much of a story here, Police most pubs closed, as for a traces of drugs, every US dollar has a trace of cocaine etc on it.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz no much of a story here, Police most pubs closed, as for a traces of drugs, every US dollar has a trace of cocaine etc on it. worthingite
  • Score: -28

4:47pm Sat 23 Aug 14

worthingite says...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz no much of a story here, Police WANT most pubs closed, as for a traces of drugs, every US dollar has a trace of cocaine etc on it.

Sorry long night in a Portslade pub
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz no much of a story here, Police WANT most pubs closed, as for a traces of drugs, every US dollar has a trace of cocaine etc on it. Sorry long night in a Portslade pub worthingite
  • Score: -20

11:06pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Reader9000 says...

Set the age limit to 50+ and close at 6pm unless there's football or bingo.
Set the age limit to 50+ and close at 6pm unless there's football or bingo. Reader9000
  • Score: 0

11:30pm Sat 23 Aug 14

geoff247 says...

turn it into a cycle lane
turn it into a cycle lane geoff247
  • Score: 15

8:24am Sun 24 Aug 14

wippasnapper says...

I just had to check this out on Google Earth “The Harbour View in Wellington Road, Portslade just happens to be smack bang in the middle of Brighton & Hove’s Harbour Regeneration project, not that I’m condoning any miss use of drug activity et but I have suspicions that this may well be a tactic by B&HCC to remove a thorn in there Regeneration project so they can redevelop without having to build around the pub far cheaper than composers perches et, but I have to say there has been far worse drug abuse in many pubs around Portslade – Hove and nun of them have managed to be publicly shamed by the Argues it just seems odd that this public house sits smack bang in the middle of Brighton & Hove’s Harbour Regeneration project! The motives by B&HCC may well be more than meats the eye.
I just had to check this out on Google Earth “The Harbour View in Wellington Road, Portslade just happens to be smack bang in the middle of Brighton & Hove’s Harbour Regeneration project, not that I’m condoning any miss use of drug activity et but I have suspicions that this may well be a tactic by B&HCC to remove a thorn in there Regeneration project so they can redevelop without having to build around the pub far cheaper than composers perches et, but I have to say there has been far worse drug abuse in many pubs around Portslade – Hove and nun of them have managed to be publicly shamed by the Argues it just seems odd that this public house sits smack bang in the middle of Brighton & Hove’s Harbour Regeneration project! The motives by B&HCC may well be more than meats the eye. wippasnapper
  • Score: 22

8:49am Sun 24 Aug 14

Wide Bertha says...

gosh, your spelling is atrocious...
gosh, your spelling is atrocious... Wide Bertha
  • Score: 1

9:36am Sun 24 Aug 14

wippasnapper says...

Wide Bertha wrote:
gosh, your spelling is atrocious...
well thank you i try my best
[quote][p][bold]Wide Bertha[/bold] wrote: gosh, your spelling is atrocious...[/p][/quote]well thank you i try my best wippasnapper
  • Score: 9

2:27pm Sun 24 Aug 14

NickBrt says...

If there's drugs there how come the greens don't take over the running of it?
If there's drugs there how come the greens don't take over the running of it? NickBrt
  • Score: 3

3:30pm Sun 24 Aug 14

sussexram40 says...

The whole area is famous for sleaze and vice. Just 200 yards along from this pub there is a brothel on corner of Wellington Rd and MIddle St.On the basis you cant eradicate this sort of thing then its best to keep it in known and confined areas. If you close this pub down the customers wil just go somewhere else so another pub becomes a hotbed of crime.
The whole area is famous for sleaze and vice. Just 200 yards along from this pub there is a brothel on corner of Wellington Rd and MIddle St.On the basis you cant eradicate this sort of thing then its best to keep it in known and confined areas. If you close this pub down the customers wil just go somewhere else so another pub becomes a hotbed of crime. sussexram40
  • Score: 5

6:49pm Sun 24 Aug 14

VoxUnpopuli says...

Any pub that keeps Chickens in its Beer Garden can't be all bad.
Any pub that keeps Chickens in its Beer Garden can't be all bad. VoxUnpopuli
  • Score: 12

10:20am Mon 25 Aug 14

jackthekipper says...

its full of new settlers,that is the problem
its full of new settlers,that is the problem jackthekipper
  • Score: -5

6:28pm Tue 26 Aug 14

seaquake says...

In the hope of providing some balance, I wish to state that since February my wife and I, with two friends, have been regulars at this pub and at the excellent quiz which is held each Wednesday evening. The twenty or so participants range from middle age to their late seventies; most are professionals, active or retired, well educated-hardly the types to be engaged in drugs or sexual assault. We have also enjoyed live music some Fridays and Saturdays and on none of these occasions have we seen any bad behaviour. The occasional loud mouth invariably responds to a polite request to tone it down and never shows any disrespect to the older crowd.

A lot of money has obviously been spent and a beautiful job done in refurbishing what was a scruffy place with a poor reputation and the pub is now comfortable and welcoming. The landlord and staff are more friendly and personable than in many other places we have been in.

We don't use the pub every day, so obviously can't see everything that might go on, any more than the landlord can, but we feel it is only fair to comment based on our own direct experience.

The landlord does indeed run the excellent car wash next door and we had been regular customers, which is how we learned about the Harbour View when he took it on.

Of course the police have their reasons for acting and these must be respected when based on hard evidence. But we can't help feeling uneasy about the fact, as pointed out above by whippasnapper, that the pub is in the centre of the Harbour Regeneration Project. Apparently it is under threat of demolition, with plans which have been "Under consideration" by the Council for some time, for redevelopment with a new pub incorporated within a block of flats. Clearly it would be less costly to just demolish the pub altogether and replace it with flats. So maybe there is indeed more to this than meets the eye.

With twenty six pubs closing every week across the country, it would be a tragedy to lose yet another one. As other commentators have pointed out, any riff raff would simply take their unpleasantness elsewhere. Surely the best way to get rid of that element is upgrade the environment so that they feel uncomfortable with less of their ilk around and move elsewhere. We feel the present landlord has done a lot in that regard during the nine months since he has been running the place and deserves a least a fair chance to succeed.
In the hope of providing some balance, I wish to state that since February my wife and I, with two friends, have been regulars at this pub and at the excellent quiz which is held each Wednesday evening. The twenty or so participants range from middle age to their late seventies; most are professionals, active or retired, well educated-hardly the types to be engaged in drugs or sexual assault. We have also enjoyed live music some Fridays and Saturdays and on none of these occasions have we seen any bad behaviour. The occasional loud mouth invariably responds to a polite request to tone it down and never shows any disrespect to the older crowd. A lot of money has obviously been spent and a beautiful job done in refurbishing what was a scruffy place with a poor reputation and the pub is now comfortable and welcoming. The landlord and staff are more friendly and personable than in many other places we have been in. We don't use the pub every day, so obviously can't see everything that might go on, any more than the landlord can, but we feel it is only fair to comment based on our own direct experience. The landlord does indeed run the excellent car wash next door and we had been regular customers, which is how we learned about the Harbour View when he took it on. Of course the police have their reasons for acting and these must be respected when based on hard evidence. But we can't help feeling uneasy about the fact, as pointed out above by whippasnapper, that the pub is in the centre of the Harbour Regeneration Project. Apparently it is under threat of demolition, with plans which have been "Under consideration" by the Council for some time, for redevelopment with a new pub incorporated within a block of flats. Clearly it would be less costly to just demolish the pub altogether and replace it with flats. So maybe there is indeed more to this than meets the eye. With twenty six pubs closing every week across the country, it would be a tragedy to lose yet another one. As other commentators have pointed out, any riff raff would simply take their unpleasantness elsewhere. Surely the best way to get rid of that element is upgrade the environment so that they feel uncomfortable with less of their ilk around and move elsewhere. We feel the present landlord has done a lot in that regard during the nine months since he has been running the place and deserves a least a fair chance to succeed. seaquake
  • Score: 18

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