Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Crackdown on Cumbrian bar after 165 incidents

Licensing bosses have cracked down on a popular bar plagued by violence and disorder.

Cap'n Sennys, Whitehaven

Police logged 134 incidents in 2011 and 31 in the period up to mid-March this year both inside and outside Cap’n Senny’s in Whitehaven.

Tighter controls have now been slapped on the premises. A bid for it to stay open till 3am has also been rejected.

The raft of strict conditions, will come into effect within the next few weeks. Police say the aim is to reduce crime and disorder, lessen noise and protect the young.

The conditions ordered by Copeland licensing panel mean Cap’n Senny’s must extend its use of plastic glasses, bring in extra CCTV surveillance, and increased door supervision. It must also report all incidents to the police.

The action follows a review of the premises licence and objections from police, who called for similar reviews in 2010 and 2008.

Police showed the panel DVD footage of incidents inside and outside the club premises and stated they had logged 134 incidents in 2011 and 31 in the period up to mid-March this year.

In one case before the courts last year, a 17-year-old was put on probation after punching a man in the face while he was on the toilet. In another incident a man suffered a broken eye socket in an attack.

Senny’s bid to stay open until 3am was turned down by the licensing panel but agreement for it to stay open an extra half hour, until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays was secured, though serving of alcohol stops at 2am.

It was also agreed that the club could now open seven days a week instead of the current Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday openings between 11am and 2.30am.

For Easter, however, Senny’s had previously been granted temporary event notices under the licensing system to allow it to open Thursday into Good Friday until 3am and Easter Sunday into Easter Monday, also up to 3am.

Chris Pool, for Senny’s, said: “We are now the only nightclub in Whitehaven and a key part of the town’s night-time economy. The extra hours will help support our business and give people time to drift away before closing.’’

The pub employs around 30 people, six of them full-time jobs.

He said: “We have around 100,000 people through the door in a year and it is only a small minority who spoil it for everybody else. We are constantly looking at ways of reducing disturbance and disorder but we can’t be responsible for a minority who misbehave out in the street.”

At the hearing Senny’s had maintained that allowing an extra hour on Fridays and Saturdays would facilitate the gradual dispersal of people.

Police sergeants Richard Farnworth and Ashley Bennett gave evidence at the hearing.

Afterwards Sgt Farnworth said:“I hope this will send out a very clear message that we want licensees to do everything within their power to reduce crime and disorder and where we feel they are not doing enough we will take appropriate action.”


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