Spate of ‘glassing’ attacks by women on men could force Preston pub to serve all drinks in plastic
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Police want the council to take urgent action against the Stanley Arms in Lancaster Road after four people were "glassed" in late night punch-ups in the last six weeks - three of them by women.
Officers have applied for a ban on glass glasses at the pub to take in the World Cup and in the build-up to Christmas. They also want the ale house's opening hours cut back from 4:30am to 2:30am in a bid to stamp out what they say is a "worrying" escalation of violence at the venue.
The city council's licensing sub-committee was meeting in emergency session today to consider imposing the restrictions until a full hearing can be held, possibly as late as the New Year.
Police say they have been called to the pub on 15 separate occasions over the past 12 months to incidents of assault. But the level of violence has increased since the start of October when a man was struck on the side of the head by a woman brandishing a glass, causing cuts to his neck and ear. Two weeks later another man was struck on the head with a glass by an unknown woman, causing injuries which amounted to grievous bodily harm.
And finally last Saturday two people were glassed when a fight inside the pub spilled out into the street. One man had a glass smashed over his head by a woman and another suffered serious injuries when a glass was smashed in his face by a man. Police say he suffered heavy blood loss, was convulsing and going into shock.
"There is a worrying trend of violence in recent weeks at the Stanley Arms," said an officer in Lancashire Police's application for interim restrictions to be imposed immediately at the pub until a full hearing can be held.
"Over the last year Lancashire Constabulary have had reported over 15 separate incidents of assault and at least two incidents of public order at the premises. Lancashire Constabulary are now seeking a review of the current licence as it is felt that immediate action needs to be taken.
"The use of a standard review application in relation to these premises would potentially allow for further disorder and serious crime to take place during the imminent World Cup and other key dates over Xmas as a hearing for a standard review could only take place in late December at the earliest. The public should be safe when visiting licensed premises."
Councillors have the power to impose restrictions under the Licensing Act 2003, including suspending the pub's licence to operate, if police consider a venue is "associated with serious crime and/or serious disorder."
A public notice is expected to be issued today saying: "In the opinion of a senior police officer the premises are associated with serious crime and serious disorder." Police say the ban on real glasses and the cut in opening times are "proportionate to minimising any further negative impact on the licensing objectives."
Since this article was first published, bosses at the Stanley Arms have accepted and implemented all the public safety recommendations from the police and council, including the introduction of plastic glasses.