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Covid-19: Hesperian Fish restaurant in Frome handed warning

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image captionThe neighbourhood sergeant for Frome said police visited the Hesperian restaurant on August 21, then served Mr Hillary a formal warning

A Somerset restaurant has been handed a formal warning by police after its events attracted up to 200 people in a nearby car park.

Hesperian Fish, in Station Approach, Frome, held a number of events over the summer alongside Rye Bakery.

Police officers visited the premises in August and gave owner Angus Hillary a formal warning in writing.

Mr Hillary said he had adequate safety measures in place for both special events and regular diners.

Details of the warning were revealed at a Mendip District Council licensing sub-committee meeting on 25 September.

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image captionThe licensing committee meeting was told the outdoor space used for the events was a car park

Rachel Clark, neighbourhood sergeant for Frome and Shepton Mallet, said: "By their own admission, these events have attracted 150-200 people. But it must be noted that this outdoor space that they've been using is a car park.

"There has been no distinguishable social distancing and segregation between the two premises when they've operated on these Friday nights."

Ms Clark said police visited the Hesperian restaurant on August 21, then served Mr Hillary a formal warning for occasions when he had held events without a temporary event notice being in place.

Mr Hillary described this as "a genuine mistake" and said he had measures in place to keep his customers safe.

Mr Hillary had applied for a full licence to serve alcohol both on and off-site, as well as having live or recorded music played during opening hours.

'Safeguarding'

Nicola King, the police's area licence practitioner, said the proposals "contained little detail" about how crime and disorder would be prevented.

Mr Hillary replied: "We have put in place working and up-to-date CCTV equipment. We have a Challenge 25 policy and procedures. We have safeguarding for children policies and procedures."

The sub-committee voted to grant the licence - with the proviso that Mr Hillary provided more information about the layout of any outdoor seating area.

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