Gurkha reunion - nearly banned.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jack-daniels, Jun 12, 2007.

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  1. This was in the Aldershot News, Mr Sunar and Mr Rai have a way with words! It's going to be a beautiful day.

    Local News in Aldershot
    Gurkha reunion to go ahead despite police objection

    THE organisers of tomorrow’s Gurkha reunion are delighted they can serve beers, after an objection from Hampshire Police was rejected by a licensing committee.

    The event is one of the largest of the year for the British Gurkha Welfare Society reuniting soldiers who signed up in 1985, their wives and children.

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    Police had attempted to block chairman Sher Sunar serving alcohol to guests. (see last week's story)

    He was fined in April for selling drinks to under 18s at the Machha Puchhre restaurant in Aldershot.

    However at a hearing on Tuesday, councillors ruled there was little chance that the reunion on the field at Wavell-Cody Community Campus would end in alcohol-fuelled disorder and gave Mr Sunar a temporary licence for the day.

    After hearing the decision Mr Sunar told the News: “I am very happy because the councillors made the right decision.

    “My family and the 1985 intake are all very happy now. They are all very excited to see each other.

    “We had already booked a place and we haven’t lost any money or had to send out information to anyone about using anywhere different.”

    Fellow organiser Chhatrabahadur Rai general secretary of the British Gurkha Welfare Society was chuffed with the result.

    “This is superb,” he said. “I was a bit worried. It would have been too short notice to get another licence.

    “I can assure anyone we will make sure there will be no teenagers walking around with a can of beer. Nothing is going to spoil this day for the soldiers.”

    Mr Rai said a cold beer by the barbecue was part of the Gurkha ethos.

    “If there was no booze it would take away part of the gathering not that we’re going to get drunk,” he said. “It would not have been as much entertainment.
    “I was lucky enough to serve for 20 years. We have all gone our separate ways and we haven’t seen each other for six or seven years.

    “We can now sit down and have a chat and catch up. The day is going to be beautiful.”
    At the hearing on Tuesday, police said that there had been clear evidence of underage drinking at Machha Puchhre, which becomes Fish Tail nightclub on Friday evenings, and where Mr Sunar is the designated premises supervisor.

    Police claimed when they were called to fights in the club in April some of the people arrested were 17 years old. According to police one person assisting the manager was 16 years old.

    On April 20 a test purchase operation was carried out by undercover police officers.

    Mr Sunar was given an £80 penalty notice for disorder after he failed to ask for age identification and served two 15-year-olds with a drink.

    Sergeant Helen Smith told the hearing: “All these incidents would appear to indicate that Mr Sunar has little or no regard for the licensing laws regarding serving alcohol to those under the age of 18.

    “It is feared Mr Sunar will serve alcohol indiscriminately, not only breaching the licensing laws but could potentially lead to alcohol fuelled disorder either at, or following the event.”

    Sgt Smith feared if Mr Sunar sold to underage guests on Saturday it could lead to crime and disorder.

    “We certainly don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but we are trying to uphold the law,” she said.

    Speaking in his own defence Mr Sunar said: “I apologise. It is my fault and it is my first time. Can I have one more chance?

    “We have never had any trouble at the barbecue. I am not going to sell alcohol to underage people. I will be very aware of that.

    “This is a family barbecue. There is no-one coming apart from members.”

    The three councillors given the job of making a decision ruled that on balance the event would not hamper the police’s prevention objectives.

    They said the Intake 85 gathering had been held for years without any trouble and pointed out that its family clientele would differ from that of a nightclub.

    Police records confirmed there had been no trouble at the event before.

    Summing up, Cllr Steve Masterson said: “Having carefully considered all the evidence presented today the sub-committee feels that on a balance of probabilities the proposed event would not have an adverse effect on the crime prevention objective for the following reasons.

    “Firstly, because the events have been held over a number of years without any trouble, and secondly because the event will attract a mainly family clientele, being different in character from those who frequent the nightclub.”

    Police were told they had no right of appeal on the decision.

    The owners of Machha Puchhre are due back in front of the licensing committee on Tuesday for a review of their premises licence.

    First printed in: Aldershot News and Mail

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  2. OMG somebody has shown some common sense. I don't feel well.
  3. I'm glad that this Sgt Helen Smith has been named publicly. So often these jobsworths remain unidentified. She seems to 'fear' quite a lot, one way and another. Such a pity that she doesn't 'fear' being made to look a complete prat.

    Another case that should not have been brought by an idle and interfering busybody. Have they nothing better to do? If not, then sack a few of them. They're obviously overmanned in that area.
  4. Strikes me as an unnecessarily harsh assessment. After all, the issue here was underage drinking: the fact that there's a gurkha connection appears to be irrelevant, based on the article quoted.
  5. Even according to the article the reunion was not close to being stopped. The only thing the police opposed was the vendor of alcohol getting a temperary licence. In the event of the police getting their way the Gurkhas could have switched venues and carried on.
  6. The Chief Constable of Hampshire police should know how events such as reunions go with the military after all he held a commission in the UDR back in the seventies and served with the RUC.Perhaps we should send Paul Kernahan Chief Constable Hampshire an email voicing our opinions on this subject folk.
  7. Blo0dy 'ell Sven, much as I hate to say it - I agree with you ;-)
  8. That's twice You've said that - go wash Your mouth out