'Organised crime group' was operating at Northampton pub, police say

Inside the King David following its refurbishment in November 2017
Inside the King David following its refurbishment in November 2017

A Northampton pub was allegedly the scene of organised crime activity in the months before it closed, Northamptonshire Police said.

The King David, in Newnham Road, St David's, closed in September having re-opened just 10 months previously.

An incident where the then landlady's son was run over in the front car park and the pub building was blasted with a shotgun was reported by the Chron in January this year.

But Northamptonshire Police now alleges that a string of other crimes took place on or outside the premises throughout the most recent landlady's tenure.

They are now using the alleged incidents as evidence to ask councillors for new premises licence conditions on the King David, should it ever be re-opened by Ei (formerly known as Enterprise Inns).

In a statement PC Chris Stevens said police have noted a dramatic increase in the number of incidents that have taken place at the premises in the time since the most recent landlady - who held the position of designated premises supervisor (DPS) - took over. She has now been removed as the designated premises supervisor.

He added: "The number of serious incidents involving weapons has also increased and the police believe that this is in part due to the presence of an organised crime group at the premises that the designated premises supervisor is fully aware of."

PC Stevens then went on to detail several alleged incidents that police witnessed or had reported to them:

- November 17, 2017: On the first night the King David reopened after refurbishment, a fight started inside that spilled into the car park, during which a man threatened staff with a knife. A police officer who attended noted the CCTV cameras outside were dummy cameras.

- January 13, 2018: The shotgun and hit and run incident. During the police investigation, the CCTV was found to be unplugged.

-May 4, 2018: At a meeting between the former designated premises supervisor, a police sergeant and environmental health, it was established that the King David had no drugs policy and that door staff had not signed in during an an event. Increased noise and anti-social behaviour were discussed.

- June 20, 2018: Another meeting between police and the then DPS after a man was arrested at a charity fun day and police raised concerns about "the way in which [the arrested man] was dealt with by the [then] DPS and her son". Anti-social behaviour in the car park was also discussed.

- July 30, 2018: Despite Enterprise Inns pledging five days previously that an action plan to address alleged incidents at the King David had been drawn up, the then DPS's son was seen by a special constable "dangling a machete from a window". PC Stevens said: "When officers went to speak to him about this, he was very abusive to them. A follow-up from a local PCSO has also documented the views of the [then]DPS and her son in relation to this incident."

- August 4, 2018: The then DPs refused to give CCTV footage of an incident that an officer believed was captured on the Kings David's cameras

- August 10: Officers attended the pub after reports the then DPS had been assaulted by a particular man. Officers arrived and saw the then DPS slap another man round the head, which led to a confrontation between the man and the then DPs's son. The then DPS then refused to make a complaint of assault.

Northamptonshire Police said it was calling for a review of the King David's licence for four reasons: prevention of crime and disorder, the protection of children from harm, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance.

PC Stevens said: "It is the position of the police that the current management at the premises are seriously undermining all of the licensing objectives.

"The police intend to show that both the actions and inactions of the [former] DPS and her son are contributing to and are a significant cause of the issues that are current to the premises."

A spokesman for Ei Publican Partnerships said: “We can confirm that the King David, Northampton is currently shut. We are aware of the upcoming licence review and are unable to comment further until the outcome of this hearing.”

The former designated premises supervisor has been contacted for comment.