Camden News
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Camden New Journal - By CHARLOTTE CHAMBERS
Published: 3 April 2008
‘We’ll take away licences’, kebab shops are warned

Police and Town Hall crackdown on violence and poor hygiene

THE kebab culture in Camden Town could be under threat after licensing officials launched a crackdown.
While the roads around Camden Town Tube station have long been associated with late-night anti-social behaviour, in recent months fast-food takeaways in the area have increasingly been feeling the heat of police scrutiny.
Last Tuesday, Town Hall chiefs, following a number of breaches, revoked the licence of kebab chain Woody’s Grill in Camden Road.
In the same month they also reviewed the High Street’s longest standing takeaway, Kentucky Fried Chicken, after police reported a problem with violence and drugs. Camden agreed to give KFC another chance, on the condition that they hire security staff during weekends.
But the Hot Rock Café has been put on the rack by officers after they found it flouting its licence on more than 10 occasions in January.
Licence holders of the Camden Road outlet will today (Thursday) learn if their late-night food licence is to be taken away.
In a police logbook detailing licensing breaches found by officers, one entry noted a mouse scurrying across the kitchen floor, while in another, staff were caught serving customers well past the Café’s closing time of 3am.
It also noted that staff – one of whom was an illegal immigrant being paid in food, according to the police report – were ordered to stay overnight because the key to the safety shutter was missing.
PC Russell Kinson wrote in the logbook: “I went into the kitchen area and saw a mouse. There were also mouse droppings on the floor and one of the ‘meat’ spit roasts for kebabs was leaning against the wall from where the mouse had run away.”
A list of several thefts which took place in the cafe last year were also submitted to the licensing panel.
But Hot Rock licensee Imad Sabini has come out fighting. He said his business had a contract with a pest control company and argued that thefts can take place anywhere. In a letter to the Town Hall, he added: “We want to do everything possible to assist in the area being properly run and free from crime so far as possible, and I have therefore changed all staff [and] ensured staff are aware of the [licensing] restrictions.”
And customers, loyal to the Hot Rock, signed a petition to try to save it.
It said: “The café serves the local community and visitors to the area well and we, the undersigned, trust that it will continue to do so.”
A licensing panel will meet tonight (Thursday) to decide its future.

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions