October 25th, 2016

Town centre bars at ‘saturation point’

Town centre bars at ‘saturation point’ Town centre bars at ‘saturation point’
Updated: 3:14 pm, May 07, 2015

CRIME and anti-social behaviour will rise if more town centre bars open in Leamington, it has been claimed.

A Warwickshire Police report admitted policing would be sparse if any more venues emerged or if opening hours were extended.

The comments were made in a bid to stop one bar from opening later during the week in a bid to attract students.

Sergeant Paul Calver, who penned the report, claimed officers’ jobs would be made tougher because the number of town centre venues was at saturation point.

He said ‘rough’ research had shown there were 286 incidents of violence and disorder in the 12 months leading up to July, 183 cases of anti-social behaviour, 93 reports of damage to property and 89 of alleged drug use.

“The number of late night venues in Leamington Spa are at saturation point and are very much in the hotspot locations for anti-social behaviour, violence and disorder,” he said in the report.

“They may not be the sole cause for incidents that are reported to police, but the cumulative impact of the number of venues all add to the number of incidents on the streets and inside the venues.”

He added: “With approximately 5,000 students living in Leamington, plus the travelling business from university campus, the town centre is already saturated with venues offering a student facility.

“Further extensions and venues will spread this student market around the town, resulting in the sparse policing resources on these nights being spread thinner and increase the risks of crime, disorder and ASB.”

Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector Dafydd Goddard told the Observer extra resources were added on anticipated busy nights through the year but it was important to focus them on peak demand periods.

“Leamington Spa has a thriving night time economy which is beneficial to the town,” he said.

“The police have excellent relationships with a variety of departments within Warwick District Council and work together to ensure that a night out is a safe and enjoyable one.”

It came as Bedford Street bar The Loose Box aimed to to open until 2.30am on Wednesdays and 3.30am on Thursdays.

A separate district council report admitted it had not received one complaint involving the venue in the last 12 months and street marshalls were rarely needed at the site.

But councillors who had the final say at a hearing last week refused the application.