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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Police ask for takeaway 'bouncers' to help curb late night disorder

Security staff could soon be patrolling town centre takeaways as part of efforts to cut down on rowdy night-time behaviour.

Tangier Street photo
A new takeaway is planned

Police are calling on Copeland council to introduce tough new measures on Whitehaven takeaway owners as it is revealed that a 16th late-night outlet plans to open in a problem area of the town.

Police chiefs say that if the development gets the go-ahead next week it will be the tipping point for the nuisance behaviour that already exists.

Police Sergeant John Farrar, from Cumbria police’s licensing department, said that areas around Tangier Street have become “saturated” with premises opening late at night.

People leaving the town’s pubs and clubs congregate at the takeaways before heading to the nearby taxi rank on Duke Street, causing noise and nuisance as well as leaving roads covered in vomit and urine.

Mr Farrar is now calling on Copeland’s licensing sub-committee to throw out an application for a premises licence for La’al Persian, at Tangier Buildings, between Roc Bar and the Angling Shop.

And he is also asking the authority to adopt a range of measures to manage the ever-escalating problem, including takeaways employing Security Industry Authority (SIA) staff.

“The current levels of crime, disorder and nuisance behaviour within Whitehaven town centre is driven by the use of alcohol and directly linked to the food takeaway economy,” said Mr Farrar in his objection to the council.

“The problems created are being contained rather than effectively managed. With falling budgets and dwindling resources, this is unlikely to improve. The situation has reached tipping point and continued growth in the takeaway sector cannot be sustained.”

The force has previously attempted to prosecute several premises for not closing on time, but this was not pursued.

And police are currently looking to prosecute premises for failing to keep CCTV footage, showing evidence of an assault.

Speaking about the area around the taxi rank, which Mr Farrar called one of the takeaway hot-spots, he said: “People gravitate to this area with or without food and the whole situation’s exacerbated by the taxi queue. It is common practice for one or two members of a group to be sent for food while their friends queue for a taxi. Those with the food then push in causing a disturbance and fights ensue.”

He added that arrests in this area were “common”.

Problems caused by those getting food from the Tangier Street area were “made worse” as it was difficult to disperse.

Arya Mehrmanesh wants trading hours at the La’al Persian between 5pm and midnight Monday to Wednesday, until 2am on Thursday, 2.30am on Friday and Saturday and 1.30am on Sunday.

In his application to Copeland council, he said he would install CCTV, provide adequate lighting and use a walkie-talkie link to other premises to prevent crime and disorder.

Copeland’s environmental health department is objecting to allowing the premises to open until 2.30am, as late night drinking in the area finishes at 2am, and the later opening will “encourage” people to hang around in the town causing disturbance to local residents and businesses.

The department is requesting the premises closes at 1.30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.

However, Shelley Williams, chairwoman of Whitehaven Town Team, said that she had no objection to the latest application.

“It is in an area that is designated for people to go for a takeaway,” she told the News & Star. “That part of town is already open at that time of night and I don’t see another takeaway as a problem. If it was planned for somewhere else in the town, which had retail, I would be objecting.

“It is important in a town to have a specific zone for takeaways, so shoppers know what they’re dealing with. The problem with violence and drunkenness is a different problem to solve than opening a new business.”

Copeland’s licensing sub-committee meets next Wednesday at 10am.

Have your say

police asking the public to do there job for them once again maybe they want to spend time catching real criminals or maybe they want to be on there facebook accounts lol

Posted by big mike on 30 August 2014 at 03:44

I always thought it was the police who were responsible for maintaining the PEACE on our streets. Is it the case that they cannot cope and want someone else (unpaid) to do their duty. It would appear to me that the police are failing in their duty to keep the streets safe thereby putting the public at risk. I endorse the retired police officers remarks about how it used to be on the streets. To think of all the hard work in the past and a sense of duty in keeping the streets free from crime, to see what it has turned into must make all those past, retired and passed away bobbies turn in their graves in disgust. What is the world coming to?

Posted by Truncheon on 29 August 2014 at 00:12

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