Christmas closure threat for pubs
PUBS have been warned they could be closed over Christmas if high spirits cross the line into drunken violence.Landlords have warned they are being squeezed between profit-hungry companies and police seeking shut-outs to lower the risk of violence.
PUBS have been warned they could be closed over Christmas if high spirits cross the line into drunken violence.
Landlords have warned they are being squeezed between profit-hungry companies and police seeking shut-outs to lower the risk of violence.
Over the last few years pubs in Ipswich town centre have closed for two hours from 5pm on Christmas Eve and again on New Year's Eve.
But this year some landlords have been threatened with disciplinary action if they shut their doors to thirsty punters on two of the busiest drinking days of the year.
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Nightsafe chief Pc Steve Hudson warned pubs they would be hit with a compulsory closing order if violence broke out at times when police had recommended closing.
And he stressed the boozers would not be allowed to reopen until the next scheduled magistrates court sitting – which could be several days away over the busy Christmas period.
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Pubwatch chairman Michael Collins, landlord of town centre pub McGinty's, said the two-hour cool-off periods had worked well in curbing street violence over the lest few years.
He said he wanted it to continue, but stressed some of his members were coming under pressure from their employers to keep the doors open.
Suffolk Police licensing officer Bob Coleman told the meeting the police recommendations were crucial.
He said: "They serve a very valuable two-way purpose. First, they help cut out long drinking sessions and, second, they give your staff time for a much-needed break."
Mr Coleman promised to write to all companies putting pressure on individual landlords in a bid to persuade them of the importance of following police advice.