Glasgow pub is shut over drugs and fights

A WELL-KNOWN Glasgow pub has been closed over evidence of cocaine use and violence, including an attempted murder.

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Licensing bosses have closed down the Politician Bar
Licensing bosses have closed down the Politician Bar

The Politician in Maryhill, next door to one of Glasgow's busiest police offices, was shut with immediate effect on Friday after 15 months of complaints and claims it was a threat to public safety.

On several occasions after incidents involving drugs and violence, staff were accused of failing to notify the police.

Lawyers for the licence holder Jacque-line McLaughlan, said she felt she was being targeted by officers over concerns she was fronting the business for criminal elements, which she denied.

Members of the city's licensing board accused the pub's management of being responsible for a "pattern of disinterest or obstruction in relation to crime and disorder and securing public safety", with Ms McLaughlan having been summoned by police to 'intervention meetings' half a dozen times during the period.

Police Scotland's complaint to the board goes back to New Year's Day 2013, when evidence of cocaine was found in the bar's toilets. Two further visits that month also turned up evidence of the class-A drug.

On May 24 2013, police claimed a fight took place, witnessed by Ms McLaughlan, where a customer suffered lacerations to the face but officers were not contacted.

The incident leading to the attempted murder charge on June 15 2013 saw a second man treated in hospital with injuries.

The board heard that on February 15 this year a man Ms Mc-Laughlan was with, became involved in a fight at the bar where "one of the males struck the other with a glass jug causing the jug to break" and where the "second male produced a knife or similar instrument and stabbed the first to the head and body."

Inspector Duncan Evans added: "Staff at no time intervened to stop the initial disturbance escalating and made no attempt to contact the police."

He said police had to stop staff cleaning up blood and glass.

The Politician's lawyer Robin Morton said: "It's not a den of iniquity.

"There have been incidents and my clients put their hands up to those.

"There has not been any recurrence of these assaults or drug incidents since February 24. My clients feel they are making progress."

But board member Judith Fisher said: "There has been ser-ious criminal activity in or around the premises that manage-ment is unwilling or unable to control."

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