Lancashire police have responded to a Preston City Council councillor’s comments claiming that licensing recommendations for pubs are “overzealous”.Advertisement
The police have said they “have a duty to act” when there is evidence of a risk of violence in a premises.
Cllr Martyn Rawlinson said, without naming an individual venue, “a city centre pub [that] has shut down very recently, citing the licensing restrictions placed on them”.
He added: “It is a complex issue, it’s not [just] one thing – but it’s part of it and it was the final straw, according to some.
“There are other pub landlords – city centre landlords, especially – worried about the practices of the police licensing officer, who they feel is overzealous and is targeting some establishments. And the licensing committee have put restrictions in place [based] on…their recommendations.
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“Things like making city centre pubs that survive on Saturday night trade use plastic glasses and close early – that’s just the kiss of death, the pub’s finished then, straight away.
“The licensing system has to work for everybody. Obviously, customers have to be safe.”
Responding to this, a spokesperson for Lancashire police said: “We have a duty to protect members of the community who want to enjoy the nightlife in Preston.
“We work closely with licensees and the council to ensure premises are as safe as possible. Where there is evidence of the risk of violence, we have a duty to act.”
The comments from Cllr Rawlinson came before it was confirmed that The Stanley Arms would be able to reopen from the end of November.
A meeting of Preston City Council’s licensing sub-committee heard that a bouncer was so concerned about the way the pub was being run that he reported it to the licensing authorities himself after he was left as the lone member of door staff on a busy Saturday night – and ended up being assaulted and racially abused. The man was reportedly called a “monkey” and had a shatter-resistant glass hurled at his head during a shift.
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