Police have stopped a London nightclub from playing a form of Jamaican music because they claim it is “unacceptable” and linked to crime, the owner has alleged.
Roy Seda, who runs Dice Bar in Croydon, alleged police officers have told him to stop playing bashment music, which is performed by the likes of Sean Paul, Shaggy and Beenie Man.
Sergeant Michael Emery, a Croydon licensing officer, is said to have sent an email to Mr Seda to tell him his venue was playing “what this borough finds unacceptable forms of music”.
Police denied they had requested a ban on any type of music.
Mr Seda has faced a backlash from customers after altering the music played in an effort to stop the nightclub from losing its licence.
Mr Seda told media reporters:
“We’ve lost business. We’ve had some birthday bookings that have cancelled when they’ve asked if we play bashment and we’ve had to tell them no.”
Describing how some customers thought the music ban was racist, he told the media:
“They’re in the bar and asking can you play bashment and when we tell them no, they think I’m a racist.”
Dice Bar is now facing a review of its licence after police poured resources into proving the venue is linked to crime and disorder, Mr Seda said.
He believes up to 20 people have been arrested outside his venue, which has the capacity for 400, in the last 15 months.
Police have been accused of racial profiling for targeting Jamaican music and suggesting it is linked to crime.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said:
“We have submitted a request to the Croydon Council for a review of the Dice Bar. We have not requested a ban on any type of music at this venue, however the licensee volunteered not to host Bashment music events in order to tackle the issues in his venue and make it safer.”
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment further until after the licensing hearing as this is the right and proper place for these issues to be aired.”
A Croydon Council spokesman said:
“Neither the council or the licensing committee has a policy banning any particular kind of music. The committee is an independent body that makes all licensing decisions. These decisions are based on the four licensing objectives, not on music types.”