Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club: police call for knife wands after two hurt in Harpurhey beer garden

Two customers had knife wounds when police attended the club in Harpurhey last month.
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Door staff should use ‘knife wands’ and wear bodycams at Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club if it is to reopen after an incident last month, police have said.

Two customers had knife wounds when police attended the club in Harpurhey on 11 March and the premises has since had its licence temporarily suspended.

A Manchester city council licensing panel will decide if the club off Rochdale Road can keep its premises licence at a hearing in the town hall on Monday (11 April).

Greater Manchester Police has criticised the club for allowing two men back into the premises after they were initially refused entry by security on the door.

Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club off Rochdale Road in Harpurhey. Pictured in September 2020. Credit: GoogleBernard Manning’s Embassy Club off Rochdale Road in Harpurhey. Pictured in September 2020. Credit: Google
Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club off Rochdale Road in Harpurhey. Pictured in September 2020. Credit: Google

It comes as the acting manager admitted he allowed two customers in against the advice of door staff, in a statement submitted ahead of the licensing panel hearing which differs from the account of his mother who is the club’s director.

The force has suggested a series of conditions to be added to the premises licence should councillors on the panel allow the club to continue operating.

This includes door staff deploying knife wands when deemed necessary and at least one security guard wearing a body-worn video device when on duty.

What have police said?

PC Alan Isherwood filed the report for GMP recommending the conditions.

He said: “We are of the opinion that this premises has made a very poor decision in allowing the two males back into the premises after their poor behaviour earlier in the evening.

“The person in charge on the night showed naivety and poor judgement in allowing the males to re-enter the premises and clearly needs some further training before he can be left in charge of the premises again.”

The club’s premises licence was suspended at an interim steps hearing which took place via video conference on 18 March and the club has been shut since.

At the hearing, director Deborah Siddall – who was not present during the incident – said the offenders ‘pushed past’ her son who was left in charge.

However, in a statement submitted ahead of the summary review of the premises licence, her son said he allowed the offenders to enter the club.

He said: “I had to make a decision quickly.

“I don’t remember the door-staff giving a reason for not letting them in, however, I assumed it was because of their behaviour.

“The conversation at the door was brief.

“I said something like ‘you need to calm down, you can’t be lairy, nobody else is being like this’.

“The two lads said ‘alright, alright’.

“I said to the door-staff that if they were happy with the lads coming in, then I’m happy.

“They said that if I was happy, then they were happy with that.

“I was happy so long as they calmed down.”

The statement continues by claiming that he did not see the incident in the beer garden but became aware that something happened when customers came in from outside, one with bleeding wounds to his finger and his wrist.

Police officers and ambulance staff attended the incident shortly after.

Heritage centre licence review

The licensing panel will also consider whether to allow the Irish World Heritage Centre to keep its licence at a separate summary review on Friday (8 April).

The Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill pictured in July 2019. Credit: GoogleThe Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill pictured in July 2019. Credit: Google
The Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill pictured in July 2019. Credit: Google

It follows a fight at the centre in Cheetham Hill on 13 March during St Patrick’s Day celebrations on the same day the annual parade took place at the site.

The premises licence was temporarily suspended after police presented the licensing panel with CCTV footage of an elderly woman punched in the face.

Police have requested that ‘robust’ conditions are added to the premises licence, covering CCTV, the ratio of security staff to attendees and bodycams.