Longs Bar was worst for underage drinking

This Is Wiltshire: Longs Bar at the top of Victoria Road Longs Bar at the top of Victoria Road

AN OLD Town bar stripped of its premises licence for serving underage drinkers was the worst offender in the county, according to one councillor.

Longs Bar, in Victoria Road, lost its licence at Swindon Council’s three-man licensing panel on Friday after repeated failures of test purchases by the police.

Arkell’s Brewery, which holds the licence, now has just under three weeks to appeal. The bar will remain open for business as usual in the meantime.

Police have sent in under-age test purchasers, some as young as 15, a number of times in recent years and Longs failed four times since October 2010, with three since October 2012.

Coun Junab Ali (Lab, Central), who sits on the licensing panel, said the decision made by him, Coun John Haines (Con, St Margaret & South Marston) and Coun Steve Wakefield (Lab, Mannington & Western) was unanimous.

“If you read the paperwork, you can see the number of offences. The police said they are the worst offender in Wiltshire,” said Coun Ali. “Look at the paperwork and the evidence from the police shows they have been given opportunities to change.

“They even had a closure in February because of this. The police have tried everything and needed to request the licence be revoked.

“We had to balance all that evidence up. It was unanimous. We can’t just say it was because of the police. We had to balance all the evidence and make our own decision.

“The evidence was overwhelming and we had to revoke both the premises licence and the DPS (designated premises supervisor).

“They know what they need to do: not let underage drinkers in. “They have failed four times and something is not right.”

Ben Lever, 21, a supervisor at Baker Street, in Wood Street, said: “We just ask for identification. We follow a Challenge 25 policy, which we have done ever since we opened, I think. “It’s just a couple of posters dotted around the place, but they seem to work.

“Most people tend to have their ID, so there aren’t too many issues. “There have been one or two cases, in my experience, where someone’s not had it on them, but come in the following week.”

Comments (8)

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8:46am Mon 21 Oct 13

mallorca says...

Sounds as if they really got it i for this Bar,it´s been long time since I moved away from the Town,yet I guess the Law is the Law.
Maybe they should change it by saying drinkers must be 21??????
Mind you I came back from 40 Commando RM in 64 was 22 and remember Mrs kelly at the Kings in Wood street refusing me as she said i was not 18 had to laugh went in next day seen Manager showed my Military ID,jus proves apoint we looked younger then now young people look much older.
OK The London has had several chances but I think it is a popular venue and just maybe given one FINAL CHANCE
ps thank god I´, over here and perhaphs the councilers should be a bit more flexible
Sounds as if they really got it i for this Bar,it´s been long time since I moved away from the Town,yet I guess the Law is the Law. Maybe they should change it by saying drinkers must be 21?????? Mind you I came back from 40 Commando RM in 64 was 22 and remember Mrs kelly at the Kings in Wood street refusing me as she said i was not 18 had to laugh went in next day seen Manager showed my Military ID,jus proves apoint we looked younger then now young people look much older. OK The London has had several chances but I think it is a popular venue and just maybe given one FINAL CHANCE ps thank god I´, over here and perhaphs the councilers should be a bit more flexible mallorca

9:13am Mon 21 Oct 13

Doctor red says...

Remember The" Stage Ba@r at Belle Vue in 70's Great days in Swindon

The Doc
Remember The" Stage Ba@r at Belle Vue in 70's Great days in Swindon The Doc Doctor red

1:24pm Mon 21 Oct 13

benzss says...

Or the best, depending on how you look at it.
Or the best, depending on how you look at it. benzss

1:41pm Mon 21 Oct 13

daws says...

serves him right, had enough warnings to get his house in order. Not exactly hard to ask anyone for a bit of ID that does nt look 25ffs!!!!
serves him right, had enough warnings to get his house in order. Not exactly hard to ask anyone for a bit of ID that does nt look 25ffs!!!! daws

4:19pm Mon 21 Oct 13

twasadawf says...

Close it down now so no one can go out for a pint ,the town's becoming a ghost town all the pub's been closed down(it's entrapment by pc plod)
Close it down now so no one can go out for a pint ,the town's becoming a ghost town all the pub's been closed down(it's entrapment by pc plod) twasadawf

4:32pm Mon 21 Oct 13

daws says...

twasadawf wrote:
Close it down now so no one can go out for a pint ,the town's becoming a ghost town all the pub's been closed down(it's entrapment by pc plod)
good , well run establishments will always survive, people choose carefully where to spend their hard earned cash these days, it aint like it used to be! The Longs is a decent bar, sure it will come back stronger, unlike the Bakers , Emlyn Square!
[quote][p][bold]twasadawf[/bold] wrote: Close it down now so no one can go out for a pint ,the town's becoming a ghost town all the pub's been closed down(it's entrapment by pc plod)[/p][/quote]good , well run establishments will always survive, people choose carefully where to spend their hard earned cash these days, it aint like it used to be! The Longs is a decent bar, sure it will come back stronger, unlike the Bakers , Emlyn Square! daws

7:27pm Mon 21 Oct 13

Blackmalkin says...

I saw that Billie Piper in there once. And Mr. C from The Shamen.
I saw that Billie Piper in there once. And Mr. C from The Shamen. Blackmalkin

3:32pm Tue 22 Oct 13

GrumpyLocal says...

Bearing in mind how many people frequent this bar it would be interesting to know what the failure rate for age checking is. Certainly from what I've seen this bar does not tend to have a lot of people that look under-age using it & as a more up-market place (compared to some) the pricing is also likely to put many under-age drinkers off.
Compared with how old people using places like Revolution look, I'm surprised that Longs have been caught.
It would be a bad day for Old Town if this popular bar was forced to close due to this.
Bearing in mind how many people frequent this bar it would be interesting to know what the failure rate for age checking is. Certainly from what I've seen this bar does not tend to have a lot of people that look under-age using it & as a more up-market place (compared to some) the pricing is also likely to put many under-age drinkers off. Compared with how old people using places like Revolution look, I'm surprised that Longs have been caught. It would be a bad day for Old Town if this popular bar was forced to close due to this. GrumpyLocal

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