Police forced to pay bar owner £4k over CCTV fallout
A COMPANY from Mablethorpe has been given more than £4,000 compensation and a formal apology by Lincolnshire Police.
Kai’s Bar, owned by Kurnia Intertrade Limited, was subject to a licence review in November 2011 after the company declined to provide CCTV footage to the force following an aggravated burglary at the High Street venue.
But company director Michael Kheng was unhappy with the tone of the review application and a lack of consultation with the company.
He complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after a Lincolnshire Police investigation cleared the force of any wrongdoing.
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And the IPCC upheld the complaint in several areas including the review taking place without any consultation with the licence holder, against force policy and Home Office guidelines; that the language used in the review portrayed a negative image of Mr Kheng and Kurnia and that officers excluded information from the application to benefit Lincolnshire Police.
And now, the force has apologised and paid £4,200 compensation to cover costs.
Mr Kheng, who also has a company specialising in licensing issues, said he feels vindicated by the decision of the IPCC.
“I believe that Lincolnshire Police should never have written what they did and in my mind it was written to discredit me,” he said.
“The original complaint saw Lincolnshire Police investigate themselves. It was a matter of principles to me and to get them to say they were wrong.
“If they had done their job properly to start with, it would have been fine. I have had to spend lots of time and money to clear my name but this decision does make me feel vindicated.”
The IPCC decision report says that the application went ahead without consultation with Mr Kheng because of “historical information” held about him.
Amy Cridge, casework manager for the IPCC, said in the findings: “In light of the fact that the non-disclosure of CCTV from Kai’s Bar would appear to be an isolated incident, I am unclear why the decision was taken to apply for a premises review of Kai’s Bar.”
“I am equally unclear as to why the decision was taken not to meet with Mr Kheng due to historical information and opinion relating to other premises.
“It would appear that the historical information in question was not relevant to Kai’s Bar, but instead only related to Mr Kheng, who is licence holder for many premises.”
In a letter sent to Mr Kheng, Lincolnshire Police apologised “for the identified behavioural and procedural errors” and said officers were given “management advice”.
The force said it had no further comment to give on the matter.