POLICE are calling for a town centre nightclub to have its opening hours curbed by two hours because of the amount of late night trouble they say stems from the premises.
Chicago Rock Cafe in Vannes Parade, Fareham, is the only venue in the town to open to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, with all others nearby shutting earlier.
But licensing officers looking at late-night trouble around the town centre believe they have found a pattern of trouble around the club. They have now called for a licence review to have the hours pulled back to midnight at weekends.
Fareham’s licensing officer PC Jason Pearce said: ‘We’ve asked them to pull back in their hours.
‘It may sound draconian on one level, but it’s actually completely proportionate.
‘I think as a society and culturally we accept that nightclubs create this sort of trouble, but I think it’s wrong to accept that. It’s the club’s choice to stay open late, it should therefore also be their responsibility to help. You can’t just say: “It’s a nightclub, you’ve got expect these things.”
‘When people get drunk and kick down a wall, smash a window, scream or punch someone, as far as we’re concerned the premises are partially responsible for that. Their responsibility doesn’t end when they close their doors and start counting their money.
‘Closing the club earlier could make a significant impact on the level of crime and disorder around the town centre.
‘It is the number one hotspot in Fareham for this sort of behaviour.’
Richard Roberts, of nearby Hartlands Road, said: ‘You can see them come down from the club and squat in the bushes opposite – it’s disgusting.
‘And it can be quite noisy sometimes. Cutting the hours would be a good idea to try and stop them from getting in such a state.’
Neighbour Rebecca Traynor added: ‘The club has been an awful nuisance for a long time. We’ve had them chucking up in the garden, having sex, all sorts. ‘It would be a lot quieter if they reduced the hours.’
And ward councillor Katrina Trott said: ‘I think it’s good that this is being called in – Chicago Rock Cafe needs to be much more considerate about their neighbours.
‘At the moment, I don’t think they are as considerate as they could be. I’ve been very worried about the noise and the behaviour from people spilling out of their, waiting for taxis and everything else.
‘The people of Hartlands Road have enough to put up with the traffic along there without this as well.’
The club is run by Atmosphere Bars and Clubs. No-one from the firm was available to comment.
Fareham Borough Council’s licensing panel will consider the review next Wednesday at the civic offices.