Ploy Thai Seafood Restaurant on St Andrew’s Road South, St Anne’s has had its premises licence removed by Fylde Council, which means that alcohol may no longer be sold on the premises.
This follows a Licensing Hearing which was held at the Town Hall in St Anne’s on Monday 26th June and comes after serious health and safety concerns as well as an ongoing police investigation into Blackpool human trafficking and prostitution by Lancashire Constabulary.
Amongst the documents circulated to the Licensing Committee members was a report from PC 515 Guy Harrison, a designated licensing officer. Because of the serious nature of the on-going investigations names throughout the report were redacted.
According to the Police report, two investigations are ongoing. One investigation involves comments made to teenage boys and videos shown to them. The second investigation relates to allegations of modern slavery. Inquiries into both matters remain ongoing.
PC Guy Harrison in his report stated: ‘On 23rd July 2022 the Police received an allegation that (redacted) had made sexual comments towards two 16-year-old males in his employ at the Ploy Thai Seafood Restaurant and that he had shown them videos of sexual activity. (Redacted) has subsequently been interviewed by police in relation to this allegation and the investigation is continuing.
On 24th July 2022 the Police were called to a premises on Clifton Street, Blackpool after reports of a distressed female. A foreign female claimed to Police that she had been trafficked to Britain earlier that year and was being forced to work as a prostitute. She stated she had been made to pay thousands of pounds a month to the male that owned the property as she owed him for bringing her into the country. She also stated that he had possession and control of her passport.
The alleged victim identified (redacted) as the male who had trafficked her to the country and had made her engage in sex work. (Redacted) was subsequently arrested and interviewed. He is still under investigation in respect of potential slavery offences.
The alleged offences are extremely serious, and anyone convicted of them could potentially face a considerable prison sentence. Given the gravity of the allegations and the fact that in the case of one of them, the place of the offence is given as the licenced premises itself, the Police would ask that the committee revoke the licence for Ploy Thai Seafood, 19 St Andrews Road South, Lytham St Anne’s, FY8 1SZ.
The Police believe the allegations are of such severity that the continued operation of the premises by the licence holder seriously undermines the Licensing Objectives of Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Protection of Public Safety and Protection of Children from Harm.’
Submissions to Fylde Borough Council’s Licensing Panel were also made by Jacqui Harrison, Technical Enforcement Officer for Health & Safety at the authority, who gave details of a hygiene inspection at the premises.
Jacqui Harrison wrote: ‘On 16th January 2023 officers from the Health and Safety team at Fylde Council visited Ploy Thai Seafood at 19 St Andrews Road South, St Anne’s on a multi-agency operation involving Immigration and the Police. Health and safety issues were identified on the inspection and a letter was sent to TP Thai Limited who were the licence holders and operators of the restaurant business.
Items detailed in the letter include the provision of gas and electrical safety documentation and possible carbon monoxide issues with the solid fuel cooker, although it wasn’t lit at the time of visit.
The directors of TP Thai Limited are (redacted). The health and safety team received no communication from the business in respect of the letter, despite a copy being sent to the restaurant and another copy to the registered office of the company.
On 27th March 2023 an application was received by Licensing to transfer the premises licence to (redacted). The sole director of this company is (redacted).
On 18th May 2023 officers from the Health and Safety team visited the premises again accompanied by PC Guy Harrison who has authored the review of the premises licence.
Upon our arrival at the premises it was open and trading with customers dining in the restaurant. An employee made a phone call then shortly after (redacted) arrived to speak with us.
The health and safety team had concerns around the solid fuel cooker and the advice from the previous visit had not been heeded so a prohibition noticed was served to prevent use of the appliance until it was proven to be safe and the ventilation arrangements satisfactory.
Several of the issues persisted from the earlier visit and new issues had emerged too.
The Health and Safety team are of the opinion (redacted) are not upholding the Public Safety objective under the Licensing Act 2003.’
A wealth of photographic evidence of the concerns of the health and safety team may be found by clicking on the link below.
Some of the extracted material in this article is Fylde Council copyright. For further clarification of this, the full documentation may be found here: