Pub owner says Scotland celebrations were ‘unacceptable’

Stuart Clarkson says footage showing Scotland fans embracing each other in his venue was "disappointing".

Pub owner says Scotland celebrations were ‘unacceptable’ Fubar News

The owner of a pub being investigated by police after footage emerged of customers breaching social-distancing rules has said the incident was “unacceptable”.

Videos posted on social media showed revellers celebrating at The Draft Project on Thursday night as Scotland beat Serbia.

Crowds could be seen embracing each other in the clip as the city sits in level two of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus alert system.

Police Scotland alongside Aberdeen City Council are investigating the incident.

The council have issued a notice of direction on the venue, requiring The Draft Project to take action to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and remove all televisions.

Stuart Clarkson, owner and founder of PB Devco, which owns The Draft Project, said he will carry out a review of the incident and will take steps to ensure repeat incidents do not occur. 

Mr Clarkson said: “Having seen the videos I am shocked, disappointed and saddened. This simply is not acceptable and I understand why people are so upset by this.

“While we are proud of our venues and the safe environment they provide, it is clear that in this case we misjudged what was likely to happen. Despite having four additional members of security staff on duty, we were simply unable to contain the outbreak of joy at Scotland’s success.

“I would also like to thank the four Police Scotland officers who attended the venue for around 40 minutes and supported our management and security staff after the first goal was scored.”

The company came under fire during the summer after Soul Bar was one of 28 venues linked to a coronavirus cluster outbreak in Aberdeen in August.

Mr Clarkson added: “We truly hoped and believed we could provide a safe way for customers to enjoy this crucial match and that we could do that within the existing regulations. We took all steps we could to fully comply with those regulations.

“With hindsight it is easy to understand the scenes of sheer, unbridled joy. Unfortunately, in the current pandemic, that is not acceptable and we were unable to prevent or contain what happened.

“I will now be carrying out a thorough review of what went wrong and what steps we have to take to prevent any such repeat incidents. We will also comply fully and assist any reviews or investigations by the police, Aberdeen City Council or the Scottish Government.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “There is no legal mechanism for the Licensing Board to revoke an occasional licence which lasts a maximum of 14 days. Occasional licences are applied for every fortnight.

“However, officers from Environmental Health and Trading Standards at Aberdeen City Council have served a notice of direction on The Draft Project in Aberdeen.

“The direction includes a requirement to take action to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and remove all televisions at The Draft Project.

“The notice of direction can be viewed at on the Aberdeen City Council website.” 

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