Concern over Blackpool bars’ bid for 7am licence

Yates and Walkabout
Yates and Walkabout

Police chiefs are opposing a bid by two of Blackpool’s biggest bars to stay open until 7am to show the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight

Yates’s on Market Street and Walkabout on Queen Street have both applied to Blackpool Council seeking permission to serve alcohol between 4am and 7am on Sunday August 27.

Dave Blacker from Talbot ward PACT

Dave Blacker from Talbot ward PACT

The venues want to televise a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor which is being screened live from the American gambling capital.

But Blackpool police have objected to the move and warned it will lead to drunkenness and potential disorder in the town centre during the bank holiday weekend.

A Blackpool Council licensing panel is due to meet tomorrow to decide whether to allow the late licence.

Sergeant Helen Parkinson, of Blackpool Police, says in a submission to the hearing the combination of people drinking alcohol and watching a high-adrenaline sport “causes great concern for the constabulary”.

Whilst the enjoyment of our customers is always key, their safety and that of the communities in which we operate is paramount

She adds: “Not only will viewers be exposed to a high adrenaline atmosphere, they will also be more likely to have already had alcoholic drinks leading up to the fight.

“The provision of alcohol continuing until 7am will exacerbate drunkenness and noise nuisance complaints, with a risk of crime and disorder.”

Police are also concerned about early morning workers being faced with inebriated drinkers leaving premises after 7am.

Community leaders also expressed their concerns.

Dave Blacker, of Talbot ward PACT (police and communities together), said: “I don’t want to be a killjoy, but I don’t think it would be appropriate to be serving alcohol until 7am.”

The Stonegate Pub Company, which operates both pubs, said admission to the boxing would be by ticket only, with tickets sold in advance.

A spokesperson added: “Whilst the enjoyment of our customers is always key, their safety and that of the communities in which we operate is paramount.

“This application is for a sports event model which has been successfully run in numerous venues across the UK, many times.

“We will continue to work closely with the police and local authorities in ensuring we always play our part in minimising any form of anti-social behaviour on the high street.”

In 2014 a bid to force all town centre pubs to stop serving alcohol by 3am by introducing an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) failed.

Police had called for the order amid rising concern about booze-fuelled disturbances in the town centre.