POLICE and council officers who responded to a tip-off from an MP were confronted by raucous scenes at a Carmarthenshire pub as 150 young people celebrated an 18th birthday party.
A number of those present at The Green Bridge Inn appeared to be under 18, according to the officers, including a duo holding plastic glasses of beer who turned out to be 16.
The 16-year-olds told the officers their only means of identification was a bus pass, and they claimed that they had not been asked to prove their age at the bar.
The events of November 10 last year were described at a Carmarthenshire Council licensing sub-committee by Dyfed-Powys Police licensing officer Mike Price.
“On arrival at the premises all of the officers witnessed numerous young people both male and female outside the premises, some drinking, some screaming and some running around,” he said.
“There were up to 50 young people outside and when the officers entered the premises there were up to 100 inside who were dancing to loud music, some were dancing on tables in the main function room.”
He said there were no door staff and that the pub’s designated premises supervisor Huw Owen, when challenged about the age verification policy, “appeared rather unsure and vague”.
Mr Owen was also unable to provide details of who booked the party.
The two police officers also saw a young female “extremely drunk” in an unlit lane outside the pub, near Pendine.
The sub-committee heard that a year 11 pupil at a school in Tenby had told a teacher in February last year that they had taken MDMA at a prom party at The Green Bridge Inn.
The tip-off about school pupils holding parties at the premises came from Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart.
At one such event, according to police, an intoxicated 17-year-old ended up being taken to hospital.
“There is obviously a history of incidents at the premises,” said Mr Price.
The review of The Green Bridge Inn’s licence, which was instigated by Dyfed-Powys Police, listed 22 conditions the force wanted imposed.
These included the installation of a CCTV system, the use of door staff when young people’s parties took place, and a ban on alcohol consumption outside the premises after 10pm.
Police also wanted a Challenge 21 age verification scheme, but Mr Price said Mr Owen and his two daughters – who all attended the sub-committee meeting – would challenge anyone who looked under 25.
The licensing sub-committee, which also heard that the council had not previously taken enforcement action against the premises, approved the licence review after taking legal advice.
The CCTV system will need to be up and running by July 31 this year, and Mr Owen will pass on his designated premises supervisor role to one of his daughters.
Both daughters have now completed a personal licence holder’s course.
Mr Price said Mr Owen and his daughters had been “very cooperative” and that the whole episode had served as “a wake-up call” to them.
“They accept that they let themselves down, shall we say,” said Mr Price.