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Pub hit with prohibition notice after licensing teams found it open for business, customers said to be "hiding in cupboards"

South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield City Council have served a prohibition notice on a pub they alleged was open despite coronavirus restrictions.

When officers attended the Pitsmoor Hotel on Pitsmoor Road, they found a number of people "hiding in cupboards", South Yorkshire Police said.

Members of the public had reported to licensing teams that the pub was still serving customers, it added.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 unveiled by the Government earlier this month, local authorities and the police can close premises that are failing to observe the closure ban.

John O’Malley, Liquor Licensing Manager at South Yorkshire Police, said: “What makes this more significant, is that the license holder has already been served a prohibition notice under the legislation for another premise, The Staffordshire Arms on Sorby Street.

“Licenses for both venues are now under review by ourselves and Sheffield City Council, so there could be long-term implications for these businesses.”

Cllr Bob Johnson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development at Sheffield City Council, said: "These restrictions are in place to protect everyone from the spread of coronavirus....[We] will follow up on complaints and take firm action.”

However, the landlord of the two pubs, Paul Greasby, told The Star: “I would not wish to make any comment at this stage other than to say that the press reports are wildly inaccurate.

“In one instance there was no-one in the public house at all and in the other instance the only people in the public house were my son and some of his friends. They were upstairs in the private quarters, no money was taken for any drinks in either instance."

Mr Greasby added: “Neither of these pubs were at the time open to the public. The full detail of what took place on these occasions will be given to the proper licensing authority in due course.”

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