A CURRY house has been stripped of its licence for a month following a police bid to stamp out concerns of crime and disorder.

Unease over staff conditions, immigration status and training under licensing laws prompted an application by Hampshire Constabulary and other agencies to take action against Blue Ginger, in Bell Street, Whitchurch.

A police inspection of the premises carried out in November found staff did not know the conditions attached to the licence, and a later interview with premises supervisor Mohid Ahmed confirmed new staff had not been trained.

This included training on how to sell alcohol and related procedure.

One member of staff was unable to provide identification, and conditions where employees were living above the restaurant were “concerning”.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee met on Monday, February 4, and decided to approve the police’s action recommendations to suspend the Indian restaurant’s licence for 21 days and remove one of the designated premises supervisors, Mohammad Mustak, from the responsibility.

The sub-committee said it felt the response was “proportionate” to bring the staff and premises up to standard, with the suspension period allowing for a CCTV system to be moved, making licensing paperwork accessible and to carry out training for employees, and to get in place a new supervisor.

The decision notice stated: “There has been a casual attitude to training and to staff member’s responsibilities for selling alcohol at the premises. The safety of staff and customers are compromised as a result with an increased risk of crime and disorder and selling alcohol to underage persons.

“The lack of overall control and management of the premises is highlighted by the necessity of other enforcing agencies, the Environmental Health team, the Immigration Office and Hampshire Fire and Rescue, having to take action under their legislative duties.”

The 21-day suspension came into effect on February 6, however Mr Ahmed said he may appeal the decision as he believes the site was treated "very unfairly" by police.

The restaurant boss has disputed the action taken to suspend its licence was not needed, that employees have been trained and it boils down to two members' training not being recorded, which he accepted was overlooked.

Mr Ahmed added: "There's lots of grounds for appeal we are looking at.

"We think we have been treated really unfairly, just two members of staff didn't have training [recorded] but they still [suspended the licence].

"We feel like they have just made us a target, the most important thing is we have been trading for 12 years there has been no criminal activity, no history of underage drinking.

"We are a small restaurant, we close by 10pm there has been no problems."

Mr Ahmed also addressed the issue of an illegal worker being reported in the police's application, and said he has now received correspondence from the Home Office that the illegal status was "unfounded".

Hampshire Constabulary's submission also stated Mr Ahmed personally failed to turn up to a premises licence holder interview with police, which Mr Ahmed has since explained a letter was sent to an incorrect address so he was unaware of the meeting.

He added this has since been clarified with police.

The Indian eatery is still open for business while the suspension is in place.

Mr Ahmed said: "We are open for business, we don't plan to shut down. There is no criminal activity, any crime committed. It all comes down to a couple of pieces of recorded training."