Police: 2am bar closures cut violence and disorder

St Helens Star: Licensees of nightspots cut the trial short by a week because they believed the early closure times were driving away customers Licensees of nightspots cut the trial short by a week because they believed the early closure times were driving away customers

POLICE believe a pilot scheme that saw St Helens town centre bars shut at 2am during three weekends in January helped curb incidents of late-night violence and disorder.

Licensees of nightspots cut the trial short by a week because they believed the early closure times were driving away customers. Normal opening resumed last weekend.

Licensees on the pubwatch committee met early last week and decided that 2am closures were not working.

In December they had collectively agreed to explore the effects of the change after encouragement from the police. The trial centred on getting people “to go out earlier”.

But it is understood bars, taxi firms and takeaways had mounting concerns about the system once it was in place. Bar goers also criticised the pilot on social media.

Since the relaxation of licensing laws in 2005, bars have been able to open beyond what was the traditional drinking-up time of 11pm for pubs or 2am for nightclubs.

A number of bars in the town centre normally open until 3am at weekends and some use temporary event notices until 5am.

But it is believed bars feared reverting to 2am was making St Helens less attractive to younger customers who are used to starting their nights out late, resulting in them heading elsewhere.

DJ Dex Nelson said: “For some the night was just getting going between 1am and 1.30am and then it was nearly closing time. I personally don’t see the need for bars to be open until 6am but 2am was too soon.”

In December officers rejected suggestions they had pushed for earlier closure times to try and quell incidents of violence or disorder.

Town centre Inspector Dave Brennan, who praised the bars for taking part in the trail, said incidents of violence and disorder were down from 11 to three on like-to-like comparisons with last year.

Chief Inspector Martin Woosey said: “The licensees have the made the decision – at the end of the day it was their initiative it will be back to normal from now on. Town did seem to clear a lot quicker on each of the nights (of early) closure.”

Comments (7)

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10:04pm Fri 31 Jan 14

frankly says...

well, ignore the boozers, and close at 2 then if police say it helps
well, ignore the boozers, and close at 2 then if police say it helps frankly

1:26am Sat 1 Feb 14

anthonywilson says...

Perhaps if St Helens Council hadn't passed all the licensing applications for all the bars in the town centre so readily (which have sprung up like mushrooms in the rain over the last ten years) "violence and disorder" wouldn't be such a big problem as it is. Nor would they be having campaigns like the "Dry January" which they have just been running. It doesn't need the intelligence of Einstein to see that the growth in the number of bars in St Helens was asking for trouble.
Perhaps if St Helens Council hadn't passed all the licensing applications for all the bars in the town centre so readily (which have sprung up like mushrooms in the rain over the last ten years) "violence and disorder" wouldn't be such a big problem as it is. Nor would they be having campaigns like the "Dry January" which they have just been running. It doesn't need the intelligence of Einstein to see that the growth in the number of bars in St Helens was asking for trouble. anthonywilson

7:09am Sat 1 Feb 14

EpicConcern says...

The problem isn't the bar opening times, the problem is the amount of d**kheads in St.Helens.
A few beers in and everyone has a chip on their shoulder.
The problem isn't the bar opening times, the problem is the amount of d**kheads in St.Helens. A few beers in and everyone has a chip on their shoulder. EpicConcern

7:02pm Sat 1 Feb 14

i5tola says...

A three week trial is no trial. This early in the year, people are sick, lousy weather, still recovering from the holidays. Even the drunks can hold out for three weeks, if they can make a point. Give it a year if you want test it properly. If twenty hrs a day doesn't do it twenty four won't either. So you jug heads try something else.
A three week trial is no trial. This early in the year, people are sick, lousy weather, still recovering from the holidays. Even the drunks can hold out for three weeks, if they can make a point. Give it a year if you want test it properly. If twenty hrs a day doesn't do it twenty four won't either. So you jug heads try something else. i5tola

8:26pm Sat 1 Feb 14

rosered1 says...

Why the desire to keep throwing alcohol down your throat beyond 2am? Surely that should be a late enough closing time for anyone. Ok every once in a while have a longer closing time for a special occasion if required but every weekend? No wonder we have such a large number of alcohol dependant people wandering around if they are encouraged to stay out until early morning just to put money into bar owners pockets.
Why the desire to keep throwing alcohol down your throat beyond 2am? Surely that should be a late enough closing time for anyone. Ok every once in a while have a longer closing time for a special occasion if required but every weekend? No wonder we have such a large number of alcohol dependant people wandering around if they are encouraged to stay out until early morning just to put money into bar owners pockets. rosered1

8:03pm Mon 3 Feb 14

smith&weston says...

The council has a cabinet member who's responsibilities include the health and well being of the towns population, some one who warns of the dangers of eating junk food or drinking to much. Seems like they are facing a losing battle as the rest of the town hall hands out alcohol licences by the handfull and approves one fast food planning application after another.
The council has a cabinet member who's responsibilities include the health and well being of the towns population, some one who warns of the dangers of eating junk food or drinking to much. Seems like they are facing a losing battle as the rest of the town hall hands out alcohol licences by the handfull and approves one fast food planning application after another. smith&weston

7:16am Thu 6 Feb 14

chasmcn says...

anthonywilson wrote:
Perhaps if St Helens Council hadn't passed all the licensing applications for all the bars in the town centre so readily (which have sprung up like mushrooms in the rain over the last ten years) "violence and disorder" wouldn't be such a big problem as it is. Nor would they be having campaigns like the "Dry January" which they have just been running. It doesn't need the intelligence of Einstein to see that the growth in the number of bars in St Helens was asking for trouble.
Iam sure there are more bars in Wigan ,Warrington its not just a St Helens problem its a problem the nation has with brooze and drugs .A whiff of the bar maids apron and a snort of the white stuff turns our young people into thugs . Why do we have to have high alcohol beer ? .
[quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: Perhaps if St Helens Council hadn't passed all the licensing applications for all the bars in the town centre so readily (which have sprung up like mushrooms in the rain over the last ten years) "violence and disorder" wouldn't be such a big problem as it is. Nor would they be having campaigns like the "Dry January" which they have just been running. It doesn't need the intelligence of Einstein to see that the growth in the number of bars in St Helens was asking for trouble.[/p][/quote]Iam sure there are more bars in Wigan ,Warrington its not just a St Helens problem its a problem the nation has with brooze and drugs .A whiff of the bar maids apron and a snort of the white stuff turns our young people into thugs . Why do we have to have high alcohol beer ? . chasmcn

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