A London Fields bar was shut down by the council after its security guards ushered suspects in a 1am knife fight out through a fire escape as the police raced to the scene.
Detectives slammed the Heart of Hackney for “an embedded culture of ignorance” as they begged councillors to revoke its license following a series of punch-ups and flagrant Covid breaches.
Owner Ali Abcai and manager Huseyin Aksu were described as having “complete lack of competence” in a lengthy report by Scotland Yard’s licensing team.
Inspectors visited the Mare Street bar the day after a 1am mass brawl saw a reveller’s arm sliced open with a box cutter.
They found an incident log that was two years out of date, door staff refusing to search visitors, and a failure to operate any kind of track-and-trace.
When asked whether they were aware of the stringent rules for re-opening pubs and clubs, Abcai and Aksu replied that they had seen a single Boris Johnson speech on TV and assumed they could open as normal.
The bar’s license was suspended on the spot after the duo admitted to nine separate breaches – then permanently revoked after councillors concluded that there was no chance of reform.
A police report demanding the bar’s closure recounted the night of the stabbing in excruciating detail.
It read: “In the early hours of 29 May 2021 a victim presented at hospital with a stab wound to the arm. It transpired that a fight had broken out at the Heart of Hackney at 00:30 hours that morning during which the victim sustained the injury.
“Despite knowledge of this at the time, the venue did not involve police, the crime scene initially went unsecured and it transpired that staff at the venue had ushered the suspects out via the fire escape so that they could escape – all leading to potential prejudices to the investigation in breach of the obligations under the licensing objectives.
“The fact that some sort of weapon was taken into the venue indicates a very poor search regime. A subsequent visit to the venue by licensing officers revealed multiple breaches of the conditions of the licence and the licence-holder showed such an ignorance of the principals of running a licenced venue as to give serious concern that he would ever be capable of doing so.
“He freely admitted that he was ignorant of these conditions since taking over the venue and didn’t even appear to know that he was the licence-holder.
“There were also multiple Covid breaches, this included no seated service, loud music and dancing and no track-and-trace.
“The licensee was again ignorant of the Covid regulations and these failings would have been occurring since the first lockdown.”