POLICE have accused a social club of ‘failing to support an active criminal investigation’.

Police said management at Highcliffe Sports and Social Club were “reluctant to provide a formal statement” following a serious incident at the premises.

Concerns were “amplified” when the club reportedly showed “inability or reluctance” to operate to the standards expected by the force.

Dorset Police submitted an application to review the club premises certificate in place at Highcliffe Sports and Social Club, in Lymington Road. 

It was discussed at a BCP Council licensing sub-committee meeting on Wednesday, January 31.

Members noted a man was injured during a ‘serious incident’ which had happened at the club in December 2022. 

Dorset Police licensing officer Louise Busfield said: “It is of significant concern that the incident demonstrates a lack of duty of care from the staff at the premises towards the customers, and it does undermine the role that this premises wants to play in this local community.

Bournemouth Echo: Highcliffe Sports and Social ClubHighcliffe Sports and Social Club (Image: Google Maps)

“It must be said that it is also disappointing that the operators declined to support the police with any investigation.”

Ms Busfield said since the incident, the club had shown a "lack of engagement or a lack of a desire to support the promotion of the licencing objectives.”

Mr Donne, representing Highcliffe Sports and Social Club, addressed the accusation the club hadn’t supported the investigation.

He said: “My client did provide CCTV footage, she did identify those individuals to the investigating officer, but she was reluctant to make a formal statement which she now, on reflection, wishes that she had, because while she did not witness the actual evidence she could have highlighted the build-up of that particular scenario.”

Mr Donne noted the club had reflected on the incident, and when another occurred eight months later, they managed it and contacted police.

“That demonstrates they did learn from it.”, he said.

Dorset Police also had concerns that "basic compliance with the conditions of the club premises certificate seemed to be being disregarded", with management "consistently advertising events to non-members". 

A venue with a club premises certificate should be operated for its members and for their benefit, not for members of the public, explained licensing officer Sarah Rogers. 

Mr Donne responded: “The police feel that the club is operating outside of the certificate, we don’t think so.

“There has been there events last year that were open to the public, that were covered by a temporary event notice.”

A decision has now been made on the review. Read more here: Social Club in Highcliffe to operate under new conditions