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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Police call for action to cut violence at Cumbrian pub

The owners of a busy town centre pub could be made subject to a number of strict rules following a spate of alcohol-fuelled violent assaults.

Cap’n Sennys photo
Cap’n Sennys

In just five months police have been called to Cap’n Senny’s in Whitehaven 97 times.

Some of the more serious incidents include a man fracturing a woman’s jaw in two places and a man’s nose being broken when a glass bottle was hurled in his face. Police are now asking Copeland Council to review the Senhouse Street pub’s licence and bring in a number of conditions.

They want glass bottles, which they say are used as weapons, replaced with plastic or poured into polycarbonate glasses as well as banning off-licence sales.

On Wednesday the council’s licensing sub-committee will meet to discuss the proposals, along with police and the pub’s owner Peter Watson.

Sergeant Ashley Bennett, who has put forward the licence review, said that since the introduction of plastic glasses at an earlier review, there has been a “significant” reduction in the number of glass-related incidents.

“However, as the evidence of incidents highlights, the potential for serious injury to be caused by glass bottles is still very much a serious concern,” he added.

“The fact that this premises continues to have high volumes of alcohol-fuelled violence and disorder associated to it suggests that more needs to be done to prevent serious injury being inflicted on a person by the use of a glass bottle in the future both inside and outside the premises.”

During an earlier meeting between police and the pub, Mr Watson refused to introduce the suggestions put forward by Sgt Bennett, saying there was a cost implication and that no other premises in town was “under these constraints”.

Mr Watson has suggested employing another glass collector to remove the bottles more quickly – but police say this would not help sufficiently.

Sgt Bennett said there are also incidents of underage drinking at the pub as well as complaints from nearby residents about noise.

In his report to the council’s licensing committee, Sgt Bennett added that Cap’n Senny’s has the largest number of violent crimes within any licensed premises in west Cumbria.

Mr Watson said that this is because his premises is the most popular, and therefore the busiest venue in Copeland.

Wednesday’s review is the latest in a series where a number of conditions have been put on the licence. The latest, held in March, required the owners to have extra CCTV coverage inside the premises, polycarbonate glasses, a challenge 21 policy and mosquito devices placed outside to disperse crowds.

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