Police target Cheadle kebab house in 'steak-out'
POLICE kept watch at a town centre kebab shop – after customers were spotted walking away with bags of takeaway food after closing time.
Officers visited Cheadle Kebab and Pizza five times between December and February and ordered staff to shut because they were in breach of their licence.
They even asked customers if they could check their food to prove the late-night snacks were still hot.
The Chapel Street shop only had permission to open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
But the police vigil found customers had been served until 1am.
Special Constable Louise Lewis, who was on duty with three other officers at 1am on Saturday, January 14, said: "As we left the police vehicle a man was leaving the premises. I approached the man, asked if he had been served hot food, and requested to feel the bag.
"The man stated that he had been served hot food and granted me the request to feel the bag. I felt the bag and saw that it contained hot food so we entered the premises."
Despite the police protests, takeaway owner Ahmet Kose was yesterday granted a licence to serve food until 1am at weekends by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's licensing committee.
Committee chairman Councillor Madelaine Lovatt said: "We take breaches very seriously.
"There is no excuse for not following police advice and closing on time. However, we are mindful that the clients had operated for four years with the licence they had inherited, and as far as we are aware no other issues or concerns have arisen.
"There have been no objections from residents, environmental health or any other agencies.
"There have been no incidents of anti-social behaviour or disorder.
"If there are further breaches, we would invite the police to review the licence."
Takeaway representative David Farley said the extra hour at the weekends was needed.
He told the meeting: "There is a local demand for food at that time in the morning.
"They have made the application so they can operate legitimately. All the major objections to these sorts of premises are that they attract late-night revellers, but that does not apply in this case."
Licensing officer Hana Mir said neighbourhood police had first spotted the takeaway was open beyond its permitted hours on December 27 and the premises had been monitored. A further four incidents were then reported.
She told councillors there could be no confidence staff would comply with the conditions of the licence and called on the panel to delay granting the application for six months to give them the opportunity to demonstrate they could adhere to regulations.
She said: "Criminal offences have been committed. They continued trading illegally after being visited by police."