A pub landlord has been reprimanded after police discovered a group of Dundee punters partying inside despite tight Covid-19 restrictions.
Acting after a 5am tip-off, officers found six apparent customers and a barmaid gathered at Dexy’s on Arbroath Road in September.
They noted the patrons desperately trying to hide half-empty pints of lager.
Licence holder Helen Moncrieff said she had no knowledge of the breach and had subsequently sacked the barmaid involved.
Dundee City Council’s licensing board has now suspended the pub’s licence for two months and endorsed Ms Moncrieff’s licence.
The board heard from Police Scotland, who said officers had received intelligence that the Stobswell bar was holding “regular lock-ins”.
The force’s representative Leigh-Ann Gregge said: “At 4.47am on September 19, Police Scotland received a complaint of loud noise and raised voices coming from Dexy’s.
“Officers attended and found the shutter was down and there were lights illuminated within the premises.
“They opened the shutter over the entrance door and entered. They found six patrons and one barmaid within.
She added: “All patrons appeared to be intoxicated.
“There were drinks on the tables and at least one pint of lager visible which the patrons were trying to conceal from the attending officers.
“The patrons and barmaid were very obstructive and additional police were requested to assist.
“The barmaid argued no alcohol was being served and the patrons were only sitting.”
Bar allegedly overcrowded
Police had attended on various other occasions and found the TV volume on and music playing (a breach of Covid-19 rules), as well as a lack of training records.
They had also received information suggesting the bar was overcrowded with customers on the evenings and weekends.
All the incidents were said to have taken place while bars were permitted to operate indoors between July and September.
Ms Gregge said there was no evidence to illustrate the circumstances surrounding the incidents, as there is no CCTV.
Police Scotland requested Dexy’s licence be reviewed.
Speaking at the meeting, Ms Moncrieff apologised and said the barmaid was “immediately dismissed” when the events came to light.
However, she was challenged over a newspaper article published just last month which said the barmaid continued to work at the premises.
She claimed the former staff member was recruited as a volunteer on that day to hand out free tea and coffee to those in need.
The premises licence has been suspended for eight weeks with immediate effect and the bar must also install CCTV before reopening.
Bars are currently not allowed to sell alcohol in the city, due to Tier 3 measures.