Police are objecting, again, to a night club owner’s bid for a late licence.
Blitz owner Peter Alexander scaled back his opening hours plans from a 6am closing time to 4.30am, but officers say the new time is still too late.
His club moved to the former Frog and Bucket building to make way for the demolition of the Great Shaw Street site, but he was told it could not have a 6am licence in its new “red zone” location.
He has now returned to council chiefs asking for permission for the earlier closing time, but police have raised fears that it could lead to an increase in violent crime or anti social behaviour in the city centre.
A list of extra conditions has been offered by the applicant including extra CCTV, more training and a “customer dispersal policy” including a free taxi telephone service and an internal waiting area.
But an objection by police, to Preston Council’s licensing committee, said: “It is the view of the constabulary that the dispersal of up to 400 intoxicated patrons in the early hours of the morning in a relatively isolated location on the edge of the city centre, would lead to an increase in violent crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Whilst the operator can offer steps within the operating schedule to supervise patrons in the immediate vicinity of the premises, these measures would not adequately address dispersal of patrons once away from the premises.”
The objection letter said the special policy of the area, which the former Frog and Bucket is in, could not “rein in” the existing hours of licenced premises, but was intended to limit extra dispersal of customers from premises in the early hours of the morning.
It said: “Whilst recent analysis of crime within the special policy area between 2011 and 2014 has shown a decline in all crime within the special policy area, violent crime increased by 3.6 per cent between 2013 and 2014.
“Policy and operations to manage violent crime have had a positive impact on the special policy area, however, the rate of alcohol related violent crime within the area is still double the rest of Lancashire.”
A decision on the application will be made by Preston Council’s licensing committee next week.