We’re all used to being searched before getting on a plane, or even visiting a museum, but what would you think if you had to be searched before going to a party at a hotel?

A five star hotel in Battersea will use security wands to search people attending parties at the premises as part of a new set of conditions imposed on its license. 

Hotel Rafayel on Lombard Road was the scene of a violent incident in July this year when a car drove into a group of people who had been at a party inside the hotel.

Residents applied for a review of the license after the incident amidst claims that various parties held by the hotel are not properly supervised and guests are given access to private residential lifts which go to the floors above the hotel. 

They also alleged that recreational drugs such as cannabis are frequently used on the premises by hotel and bar guests, and on one occasion a resident had to step over a guest who was passed out drunk on the floor in the residential area. 

Resident Dave Collins said “I am impelled to make this representation because I am in fear of our own welfare and fear of the building’s children and people coming to stay with us. I’m not doing this lightly, I am doing this because the license is not being managed. There is drunkenness, there is drug taking.”

Cllr Emily Wintle, representing resident Ray Walsh, said that the hotel showed a “disregard” for its licensing conditions, adding that the premises had been run without a license holder for several months after the previous holder passed away last summer. 

The hotel’s director Malcolm Bass accepted that he did not submit the form about the new license holder “straightaway” but claimed the hotel was in a difficult position due to its position at the bottom of the building:

“It’s a vertical village. We’re at the bottom so everything stops and starts with us. If there is going to be any trouble or crime not related to the party it’s going to be us that has to deal with it,” he said.

He added he was “not aware of damage or injury or anything that’s been done. When they say they get these problems in the residential area, I can’t work it out, they’ve never told me”, and that the owner Ike Latif “wouldn’t take his own children there if it was some sort of drug den.”

Wandsworth Licensing Committee decided to impose the conditions suggested by representatives of the Metropolitan Police which also included the installation of a CCTV system on the premises and a minimum of two Security Industry Authority (SIA) registered door supervisors for any party. 

It also requires the hotel to submit details of any parties to the police at least 28 days in advance of the event, and allows the police to veto if they are not happy with the measures proposed to ensure public safety.