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Blu Bar loses 24 hour licence

police officers

11:55am 5th December 2018
(Updated 1:14pm 5th December 2018)

A Burnley bar has been allowed to stay open despite complaints from police.

By Local Democracy Reporter Jonathan Grieve

Blu Bar has lost their 24 hour licence, but can still open between 7pm and 6am.

Police licensing sergeant Gary Hennighan said there is a disproportionately high number of reported incidents of crime and disorder at the bar.

Figures show 53 incidents at the bar have been reported to police since the start of the year which is the highest proportion in Burnley and the second highest in East Lancashire.

There have been 23 public order calls, 11 assaults, five relating to vulnerability, two assaults on police officers, one affray, and one drugs-related call.

Sergeant Hennighan told members of Burnley Council's licensing subcommittee:

"The 24-hour drinking experiment in Burnley has failed. It may work in large cities like London or Manchester but Burnley is still a small provincial town.

"Late licences in Burnley mean people pre-load at home and venues are having to compete with each other.

"Since becoming licensing sergeant, it’s fair to say I have seen the atmosphere in Burnley get a lot moodier - there is tension in the air.

"The impact on policing has been huge and my colleagues in the town are sick and tired of having to deal with drunken aggression."

In 2014, council bosses declined to impose a restriction on the bar’s operating hours after police detailed around 40 incidents linked to Blu Bar over the year prior to the review.

Blu Bar bosses complained they had only been given short notice for the latest review and said there had been a lack of dialogue with police over changes or improvements they could have implemented to make things better.

And they said a large number of the calls to police mentioned Blu Bar purely as a landmark rather than being a contributing factor to any crime and disorder.

Frank Musso, whose family owns the bar, said:

"This is almost a carbon copy of the review four years ago.

"When we last went to review we had three months to put a case together.

"24-hour licences are not our fault - we did not create them."

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