Police shut Finsbury Park cafe over crime fears

The Addis Ababa cafe in Seven Sisters Road was ordered to close by Highbury Corner Magistrates Court

The Addis Ababa cafe in Seven Sisters Road was ordered to close by Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on July 30 - Credit: Archant

This is the fourth closure along Seven Sisters Road to tackle growing disorder at venues in the area

A late-night cafe and restaurant in Finsbury Park has been ordered to close by a court following a spate of violence and anti-social behaviour (ASB).

Addis Ababa in Seven Sisters Road is the fourth venue to be shut down in under a year, following a police crackdown on violence and disorder inside and outside premises in the area.

Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard in one incident, the manager of the cafe, Adhanom Gebredengal, allowed a heavily inebriated man he knew to enter the bar before smashing up the venue’s bathroom and threatening to kill Mr Gebredengal, who is from Eritrea.

Similar incidents involving violence and disorder from December last year prompted borough police to contact the management several times requesting a range of measures be taken to improve the safety surrounding the premises, but they claim their advice was ignored.

But Mr Gebredengal challenged police evidence on his poor management of the venue, stating that he spent up to £48,000 refurbishing it since April last year and further disputed evidence obtained from the CCTV cameras outside the cafe showing an incident of ASB.

The premises had already been served with a closure notice by police in Islington on July 15 last year. But this court order will see the premises remain closed until September 24, awaiting a full licence review by police and council officials.

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Three other venues along Seven Sisters Road have been closed over the past year due to growing problems with crime associated with cafes in the area.

Inspector Richard Padwell, in charge of the East Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, said: “There are many people that live near to the cafes along Seven Sisters Road and they have been blighted with noise, anti-social behaviour and incidents of alcohol-related violence since the start of this year.

“This particular stretch of Seven Sisters Road has already seen increased police patrols and has also been subject to a dispersal zone to tackle disorder into the early hours of the morning.

“This is now the fourth premises in the area which has been closed in partnership with Islington Council, in our continued attempts to reduce violence in Islington and to keep our communities safe, as well as improve the quality of life for all who live, work, socialise and commute through the borough.”