A BAR in Bournemouth has been stripped of its alcohol licence due to concerns it was “disregarding” the safety of its customers.

Dorset Police called a review of Xchange in The Triangle after reports of drugs issues and concerns it was falling “far short” of expected standards.

But on Tuesday, a BCP Council licensing sub-committee agreed to revoke the bar’s licence saying it had “no confidence” in the bar’s management.

The review was requested by police in January with issues dating back to March 2019 outlined.

They included the bar’s owner being taken to hospital having taken the drug GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) and a customer having his drink spiked.

Concerns were also raised about delays in providing CCTV footage.

The review was considered by councillors on Tuesday with police licensing officer Louise Busfield saying the request had been made after "prolonged engagement” with the bar had not yielded improvements.

“Dorset Police no longer has confidence in the premises licence holder or the premises supervisor who have demonstrated a sustained and consistent inability to uphold the licensing objectives," she said.

But Carol Legg, who had recently taken over as manager – despite not having a personal licence – warned revoking the licence could have wider implications.

“The venue has been there for the best part of 30 years,” she said. “It is probably the oldest gay venue on the south coast of England

“We have done a lot to help our community and if our licence is ripped away from us, I believe it could be quite damaging.

“There’s not that many venues left now – if we go it’s not only going to cost jobs and homes at the Xchange, it’s going to have a knock-on effect.”

But police licensing sergeant Gareth Gosling said it was “woeful” that measures proposed by the bar’s management in January, that he felt fell short of what was needed, had not even been implemented.

These included staff still not being provided with a uniform.

“Staff have been running rings around the management but that’s no excuse,” he said. “We are talking considerable risk to the public.

“This is the first hearing I’ve been involved in where I’m concluding my part of it with more concerns than I came into it with.”

Members of the sub-committee backed the police position and agreed to revoke the bar’s licence.

Councillor David Flagg, the chairman, said: “The sub-committee shares the concerns of the police that the current premises licence holders are not imposing the levels of control necessary to ensure that the licensing objectives are being upheld.

“There are concerns that the police have been trying to engage with the premises for a long time without success and there appears to be disregard for the safety of clientele."