A popular Preston venue faces being stripped of its licence after police triggered a review of its operations.Advertisement
53 Degrees on Fylde Road, which is part of the University of Central Lancashire Students’ Union, is failing to restrict the sale of alcohol to children and failing to prevent crime and disorder, according to Lancashire Police.
Sergeant John Lovick wrote to Preston City Council asking for a licence review in November 2012 and detailed 27 incidents with police involvement at the venue since October 2010.
Documents presented to the council detail arrests for drugs possession, thefts and late night assaults on female revellers.
On May 31 2012 the reports show a college end of year party ended with five girls aged 17 to 18 being taken to hospital after passing out – and police claim alcohol was being bought by under-age drinkers in the venue.
PS Lovick also observes an increase in mobile phone thefts culminating in 15 phones being stolen during a concert by Lostprophets. Police valued the phones at £5,000.
The police say gig goers were not warned about an increased risk of pick-pocketing despite information being passed to the venue.
The licence review will be the first faced by 53 Degrees since it started operating in 2005.
In a letter to the licensing sub committee the Students’ Union defends its entertainment premises.
Tim Shield of lawyers John Gaunt & partners, representing the Union, writes: “Our clients place great store by the professionalism of their systems and in particular those which touch upon regulatory matters.
“They always seek to co-operate closely with the Authorities over matters affecting their premises.
“It therefore follows that the seriousness with which they treat the Review Application which they face cannot be overstated.”
He goes on to state the Union hopes to put in place suitable measures and conditions will be put in place to satisfy the police.
Gig goers in the city spoke out in defence of the venue last month, in this article on Ark Preston.
The council sub committee has the power to strip the venue of its licence, modify the operating hours or put the venue on special measures for a period of time.
53 Degrees is currently licensed to open from 8am to 4.30am any day of the week and to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises from 8am to 4am every day of the week.
The sub committee will meet at 10am on Tuesday 8 January 2013 at the Town Hall.
View all the documents relating to the licence application.