Dilemma for authorities over 5am takeway bid

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The question as to whether or not to grant a 5am licence to a takeaway shop in Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth is a difficult one.

One one hand the rise in disorder in the area is a cause for concern for the authorities and the emergency services.

But on the other hand an establishment just across the road was granted a 5am licence earlier this year.

Ken’s Kebabs, who are applying for the current 5am licence, want to capitalise on a return to the late-night scene in the area after the shop, under a previous owner, was stripped of its 3am licence earlier this year after the former owner admitted to trading after operating hours.

So while the new owner, one would think, would have a reasonable case for the extension bearing in the mind the establishment over the road, police and the council are against the plan because of the rise in crime and disorder in the area.

The area is monitored by the city council and police as a cumulative impact (CI) zone – set up to crack down on disorder – and figures have been brought to light by the council’s licensing manager that during the recent Freshers Week there were 19 offences – up from five last year.

And the licensing manager said analysis has shown that more incidents are occurring at a later time in the evening compared to last year with 1am to 5am showing an increase from two to 10 in the last year, which may well be down to later hours being granted in the CI area.

The police licensing officer for Hampshire believes the granting of the extension would have a ‘negative impact on the CI zone’.

But there is more to this. Perhaps if there was better education on the affects of alcohol – if that is the root cause of the problems – neither the council, nor the police, would have to be as concerned.