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Police say Camelford's Darlington Hotel should close

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

Comments (4)

A NORTH Cornwall pub could have its licence revoked after police allegations of drug-taking and disorderly behaviour on the premises.

A review of the licence of the centuries-old Darlington Hotel in Fore Street, Camelford, was due to be heard by Cornwall Council's licensing committee in St Austell today but has been postponed for two weeks to give the licence holder the opportunity to consider evidence submitted by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.

The review has been requested by the police and the sub- committee has the power to issue an informal warning, modify the conditions of the licence, remove the designated premises supervisor or even revoke the licence.

In a list of alleged incidents over the past two years, the police say members of the public have reported a strong smell of cannabis and say residents were too scared to walk by.

They say traces of cocaine were found in the toilets and a brewery making a delivery reported people sleeping on th e floor.

Residents have also reported loud music, "lock-ins" with people drinking after hours and trouble in the street outside the premises.

Police say they have also had reports of under-age drinking, but do report that on one occasion when they sent in an under-age person to buy a drink the bar staff refused to serve her.

Rodney William Mowlam, holder of the current premises licence, and the designated premises supervisor, Alison Tadman, have run the pub since February 2012.

The police said that the current operation of the premises is undermining the four licensing objectives – the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

They will be providing the committee with a number of statements by officers.

When he was contacted by the Cornish Guardian on Monday, Mr Mowlam said he had not seen the report to the committee but was aware that there had been complaints.

"Most of it is not true," said Mr Mowlam.

"I have not received any evidence of the complaints, so I don't know what I am fighting.

"We have never had a single incident inside the pub, but people walk past creating merry-hell after they have been in other places down the road.

"As a general rule young people don't come into the pub, and what is being alleged against us is just hearsay or gossip not backed up by actual evidence.

"There are people in the town who want to damage our image by making random phone calls to the police and I think they are being encouraged to complain."

Mr Mowlam said that with regard to the traces of cocaine found in the toilet he had asked the police to come around and test to see if there was a problem.

"Having asked the police to come around and carry out a test, I can't see why I should be punished," he said.

He said the pub had been closed for 18 months before he took it over and the allegations would put four jobs in danger.

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  • AnonA  |  April 01 2014, 9:20AM

    Quite funny really, I lived opposite for many years, and after so long we set up a webcam in our window to see where all the shouting and noise was coming from.... The police findings and witness reports are true.... I think people forget as this information is coming out now, there would have been investigations for well over a year, maybe more.... So the sudden "good behaviour" the last month or two means jack... The evidence is already there....

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  • suzysue  |  March 21 2014, 1:22PM

    im a recovering alcoholic and a Darlington regular..the allegations are rubbish..tha Darly is being blamed for all the trouble in town..i am sober..i see and remember what goes on there and its not what people are alleging..im ALWAYS made to feel comfortable welcome and as a recovering alcoholic most importantly "safe". ive always been treated with respect and rodney and alison have always dealt with any problems promptly, which, incidentally those problems have mostly stemmed from elsewhere in the town..my name is sue callaghan and im not ashamed to stand up for what is right. and this witch hunt is NOT right..thankyou

  • camel_sue  |  March 20 2014, 8:11PM

    I think these allegations are an absolute disgrace. I have always found this pub to be very welcoming and friendly and the people helpful. I have always been made to feel comfortable and have never been afraid to walk past or even to go inside! I have lived near this pub for 4 years and I have to say it is the best pub I have ever been in. If the Darlington were to ever close there wouldn't be anywhere in Camelford worth going. Rodney and Alison and everyone else who works there care very much about the community and I think they are being made scapegoats by a handful of small minded individuals

  • AnonA  |  March 13 2014, 10:03AM

    I fully agree with all allegations made, this place used to be lovely 4+ years ago, now it's a place that belongs somewhere else, not Camelford, what a let down it is making to the area.... I have lived near this pub for many years, and the loud music, shouting, and *****ing until stupid o'clock at the weekends is just not on and have known several people who will not walk past this place at night.... Let's just hope it becomes "local-friendly" once more....

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