Police warning on rising crime at Manhattan Bar in Hanley
POLICE are on the verge of calling for a licence review at a bar dubbed 'one of the worst' in the city centre.
Manhattan Bar, in Hanley, has been warned action could be taken if nothing is done to cut back on the number of incidents of disorder taking place there.
Figures show officers have been called out on 34 occasions to the venue in the last three months.
A catalogue of the incidents was presented to Stoke-on-Trent City Council during a meeting yesterday when the bar was refused a temporary events licence.
Licensee Andrew Leishman had asked for permission to open until 6am on Sunday, March 25, in order to not lose business when the clocks go forward.
But Staffordshire Police had objected, amid fears the extra hours would have an impact on crime and disorder.
PC Graeme Owen said the bar was one of the worst in the town centre because of problems with crime.
He added: "We have seen incident levels start to rise at these premises. There is a lot of grave concern about these premises and a review of the premises licence is currently on the table."
The Trinity Street bar has a licence to sell alcohol until 4am on Saturdays, before closing at 4.30am.
Incidents at the bar between December 1, 2011, and March 6 included nine of violence, five thefts, one which was drug related, and three disorder matters.
Bosses had been working with police on an action plan to address issues, but the meeting was told communication has broken down.
Peter Terry, from the bar, said: "We had an email saying incidents had crept up, but we didn't realise they were severe. The police did ask us to apply some conditions onto our licence and we are still taking legal advice as to whether that is fair."
Mr Leishman said: "If you average out the amount of incidents over this time, it is a low average. I do not believe we are any more or any less of a problem than anywhere else."
He told the meeting the application for a temporary events licence was to ensure the bar could trade for its usual seven hours on the night the clocks go back.
Mr Leishman, who has been associated with the venue since August 2009, added: "Whilst it is quite accurate that we get an extra hour when the clocks go back, the reality is people still go home at 4am. All we are trying to do is protect our position and continue things as they normally are."
PC Owen said granting the licence could have a significant impact on licensing objectives.
He said: "The policing operation around the town centre is geared up to finishing at 4am, this has long been agreed. Any incidents at the premises would have to be dealt with by officers on patrol. At 6am, there will be no food available for customers and many private hire vehicles will have finished.
"The local authority employs teams of street cleaners from 3am in order to return the streets to cleanliness and this would hamper the operation."
Members of the council's licensing sub-committee refused the licence.
Chairman, councillor Abi Brown, said: "We feel despite the action plan, the level of incidents remain high."