Leeds ‘crime and drug den’ pub could be stripped of its licence

The George IV in Grove Road, Hunslet. Picture: Google
The George IV in Grove Road, Hunslet. Picture: Google

Police have urged licensing bosses to revoke the licence of a trouble hit Leeds pub which it is claimed has been used as a weapons and drugs den and a conduit for stolen goods - and where important documents were fraudulently signed on multiple occasions.

West Yorkshire Police has asked a decision-making Leeds City Council panel to review the premises licence of the George IV in Grove Road, Hunslet.

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A report prepared for the panel ahead of next week’s crucial meeting says a petition has also been received supporting the police bid to strip the venue of its licence.

The report says: “Due to the manner in which the premises are managed, falsely signed official documentation, ineffective management, uncooperative staff colluding with aggressive customers, weapons and drugs recently being found on the premises causing serious concerns for children present at the time, and intelligence strongly suggesting regular resale of stolen goods to customers within, [West Yorkshire Police] feel that there is no alternative but to ask the committee to give consideration to revoking the premises licence to prevent the commission of further serious offences and to protect both children and the public.”

The pub received its current trading licence in 2005.

But, according to the dossier of evidence prepared for next week’s meeting, a chain of problems started a year later when an application was made to transfer the licence into the names of two individuals.

Police objected to one of the names, and that person was removed from the licence.

In February last year, the report says, “an allegation of fraud was received from an individual”, with claims that the complainant had been named as a premises supervisor without her consent.

Just a few weeks later, a second alleged fraud was discovered when an application to change the management showed that the signature on the consent form did not match police records. This was the second alleged fraud of its kind and a warning letter was sent to the licence holder.

The report stresses that the grounds for the review request are on “information concerning drug issues and the resale of stolen goods”.

It adds that an “action plan” was previously agreed with managers at the pub to try and deal with ongoing issues and to “assume control” of the situation.

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