Club boss hits back at police crime claims

Peter Bowden, managing director of Club Sanuk, wants council and police chiefs to join him around town in the early hours.
Peter Bowden, managing director of Club Sanuk, wants council and police chiefs to join him around town in the early hours.
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A nightclub boss has hit back at claims that drunken violent crime is increasing in the town centre.

Chf Supt Richard Debicki told The Gazette last week there was evidence of a rise in violent crime, and that problems were sparked by drunkenness after 3am.

But Peter Bowden, managing director of Club Sanuk, on the Promenade, says the figures don’t paint a true picture of Blackpool’s night life.

He claims the figures don’t take into account the closure of the Syndicate on Church Street in 2011, which, he says, would have brought drinkers from the area into the town centre.

He said: “All those people moved to where we are, and crime has gone up in our area.

“Chief Supt Debicki is saying crime is going up in the town centre which is not true. I have requested the figures for the town centre for the last 10 years that will show a dramatic decrease in the amount of crime.

“How can people make their minds up without seeing the true figures?”

The top cop’s comments come as Blackpool Council agreed for an Early Morning Restriction Order, which would stop the sale of alcohol after 3am in the town centre, to go out to consultation.

He said the town centre currently had the capacity for 8,000 revellers to be served alcohol after 3am.

Mr Bowden said in reality that wasn’t happening, and urged Chf Supt Debicki and the council leader, Coun Simon Blackburn, to join him in the early hours one weekend to see where the problems were.

He said: “There are problems in the town centre, but they are on Queen Street, The Strand and Market Street, not where me and Basil (Newby, managing director of Funny Girls limited) are at 3am.

“The EMRO will mean 300 young people will lose their jobs, but there will be no effect whatsoever on pubs and bars, or the trouble earlier in the night.

“If we were to shut at 3am, that’s 1,500 more people on the streets.”

Mr Bowden claims the police have not used all the power available to them, such as drinking banning orders, which allow officers to ban people from the town centre if they are causing trouble.

The Gazette contacted Mr Debicki’s office but no-one was available for comment.

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