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Club chief’s anger over EMRO figures

EMRO hearing at Blackpool Town Hall.

EMRO hearing at Blackpool Town Hall.

A nightclub owner who says his business will be threatened by a late night booze ban believes he will not get a “fair hearing”.

Peter Bowden, who owns Club Sanuk, on Blackpool’s Promenade, has accused police chiefs of withholding crime statistics ahead of a re-arranged hearing to decide whether an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) should be imposed in the town next month.

But Lancashire Police says it will make the relevant figures available in time.

Mr Bowden had submitted a Freedom of Information request asking for updated statistics on the amount of violent crime being committed in Blackpool town centre up to November 2013, but he does not believe the figures presented by the police will correlate with what he asked for.

He said: “I want to be able to prepare my case and get my statistician to go through them, not at the whim of the police to give them to me.

“This is not a fair hearing, it’s absolutely disgraceful and my 70 staff could lose their jobs over this.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Mr Bowden and other members of the license trade have made a significant number of Freedom of Information requests over the past 12 months and where possible we have worked hard to provide an appropriate and timely response within the guidelines set out.

“A further report detailing violent crime figures to the end of 2013 is currently being prepared by the Constabulary at the request of interested parties and this will be made available to them through the appropriate channels as soon as it is completed.”

Mr Bowden says he now intends to complain to the police over the matter.

If passed, the controversial EMRO would see resort bars and clubs in part of the town centre banned from selling alcohol after 3am.

Police chiefs say the restrictions would enable them to manage their limited resources better, but several club and pub owners claim the universal closing time could cause more disorder on the town’s streets.

Last month a hearing into the proposed EMRO was postponed for a second time.

It was halted following several hours of legal argument, having already once been stopped last September.

Blackpool Council’s licensing committee will reconvene on Monday,February 3, to consider the application by Blackpool Police.

Five days have been set aside for the hearing at the town hall.

 

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