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Bar wins its fight to stay open later
A BAR in the town centre, which has been linked to incidents of crime and disorder, has been allowed to temporarily extend its opening hours – despite a police objection.
TP’s Sports Bar, in Fleet Street, issued a temporary events licence of its intention to open until 3am on Sunday, March 4 – instead of its normal 2am – to attract more custom.
Wiltshire Police objected, saying the venue was linked to 22 incidents between July 2011 and January 2012, of which 10 were assaults, 19 excessive drunkenness, and three incidents of drunk and disorderly.
But after a review of the evidence yesterday, the council licensing panel approved the later opening time.
Lionel Starling, head of licensing, said none of the 22 incidents took place after 2am when there had previously been temporary bar extensions, so the issue for councillors was whether having an extension increases crime and disorder earlier in the evening.
PC Andy Alexander, licensing officer at Wiltshire Police, said the number of incidents had increased in the latter part of the year and he had planned to meet the management to address the issue but this had been delayed due to holidays.
The incidents he listed included a woman who pulled a knife on a man in TP’s smoking area and a woman who assaulted another PC Alexander said: “We find we’re back to the position we were in last May where incidents like this are up and are possibly still rising and we’ve had to object on those grounds.”
Louis Mostert, area manager for TP’s, said there were 14 incidents which had something to do with the bar, which in his opinion did not represent a problem considering the customers.
He said some incidents were caused by passers-by, and one had been linked to the bar by staff calling the emergency services when a drunken man fell over.
Mr Mostert said the levels of crime and disorder had increased because of the closure of Liquid and Envy nightclub last year.
He said: “The uprise in January, which I think is most of the incidents, was partly because of the Liquid clientele which was split between us and Bushwackers.
“And once we know the troublemakers and can phase these troublemakers out, these incidents will go down.”