A LEAMINGTON hotel has had its alcohol licence suspended following concerns about child welfare.
The Falstaff Hotel in Warwick New Road is unable to serve alcohol for three months after failing to satisfy Warwick District Council’s licensing committee it was adequately training its staff in identifying child welfare concerns.
It follows a child protection investigation in April after police discovered four teenage girls aged between 14 and 16 in a hotel room with two young men and a teenage boy. Two of the girls had been reported missing.
Officers were concerned staff hadn’t identified any cause for concern or taken action to protect the welfare of the girls. They were also worried staff had not been taking the incident or investigation seriously enough.
Police then offered child protection training to staff but it was not taken to the standard of the licensing panel.
Firefighters also raised concerns about an inadequate fire alarm system within the premises.
They say poor fire management procedures meant people would not reach a place of safety quickly.
Warwickshire Police Det Insp Jill Fowler said: “People working in the hospitality industry have a responsibility to look out for the welfare of children. They quite often see suspicious activity and behaviour that they have a duty to report to police.
“Where business owners don’t take these responsibilities seriously the police and local authority have powers to suspend their licence. We can and do use this power to ensure vulnerable children are protected.
“Over a three-year period we made extensive efforts to offer staff at the Falstaff Hotel this training but as we demonstrated to the licensing committee this was not taken up to our satisfaction and it became clear to us that the management at the hotel were not taking their responsibilities seriously. We felt we had no option but to make an application to suspend their licence until these concerns could be addressed.”