Takeaway refused late licence

A LATE night takeaway has been refused permission to open until 4am during the festive season after warnings it could lead to violence among drunken revellers.

A LATE night takeaway has been refused permission to open until 4am during the festive season after warnings it could lead to violence among drunken revellers.

Suffolk police said anti-social behaviour could break out in Felixstowe in the early hours of Christmas Day and New Year's Day if the BBQ House, in Undercliff Road, was allowed to remain open four hours later than normal.

Cengiz Kocabey, who runs the premises, had applied to Suffolk Coastal District Council for a temporary event licence to open late on two days.

But the licensing and health sub committee refused the request on Friday after hearing concerns expressed by Suffolk Constabulary.

Ian Farthing, Suffolk Coastal's district police commander, told councillors there had been four alcohol-linked offences inside or outside the takeaway in the last two years.

The four incidents included a customer being punched, another person was grabbed by the throat, there was an assault between two men and a drunk customer argued with staff.

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Insp Farthing said: “We are concerned that if it opens later this will encourage people to remain out and about and not to disperse.

“We have a finite number of police officers on duty on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve and if we have a location open until 4am this would need our attention and impact on our ability to service other premises.”

Steve Gallant, Felixstowe's neighbourhood police inspector, wrote to the council saying he was worried that people would congregate outside the food establishment.

“My experience indicates that when groups of persons gather in such locations you can reasonably anticipate the following issues: significant noise to the disturbance of local residents; increased litter; incidents of public urination in adjoining shop doorways and outbreaks of public disorder fuelled by previous alcohol consumption,” he said.

Mr Kocabey told the sub committee it was difficult making money this year and he needed the extra trade at Christmas and New Year.

He emphasised that he did not sell alcohol and he did not have CCTV because there had not been trouble during the eight years he was at the takeaway.