Drunken fights prompt police warning over Blackpool licence bid

Central Drive is already a magnet for anti-social behaviour say police
Central Drive is already a magnet for anti-social behaviour say police
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Police are opposing a bid for a drinks licence amid warnings the surrounding area is already a magnet for drunken behaviour.

Francis Jeevaratnam wants to sell alcohol from a Premier store at 190-192 Central Drive.

But police say they have been called to 186 incidents on Central Drive in 28 days including drunken rows between neighbours, drink-fuelled domestic abuse and rowdy behaviour in the streets.

Mr Jeevaratnam has applied to Blackpool Council for a licence to sell alcohol between 8am and 11pm daily after taking over the shop which previous licence has lapsed.

Documents submitted to the council by the police say during a recent 28-day period, 186 incidents were reported along Central Drive "many of which are alcohol related."

They add: "Complaints range from intoxicated males and females being abusive in the street, drunken neighbour disputes and domestic incidents where alcohol is involved.

"These incidents and crimes involving drunken and rowdy behaviour have mainly occurred on the streets and in residential premises.

"They have also occurred at various times of the day and night, indicating that it is the off-licences that are fuelling the drunkenness as opposed to on-licensed premises."

The police add there are already seven off-licences within a half mile area. The premises is also within the council's cumulative impact area meaning any applications for new licences must prove they will not add to existing problems caused by alcohol.

In a letter to the council accompanying his application, Mr Jeevaratnam says: "I understand the premises is within a cumulative impact area and I feel I have an excellent track record in operating premises in challenging areas.

"I have operated in Cookson Street and in Talbot Road in excess of 10 years and I have a good understanding of the issues."

Public health chiefs have also objected to the application, warning the neighbourhood has the highest number of alcohol-related hospital admissions in Blackpool.

A licensing hearing is due to be held at the town hall at 3pm on Tuesday September 4 to decide the application.