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Friday, 22 May 2015

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Assaults lead to Barrow pub’s hours slashed

A TOWN centre bar faces an uncertain future after its opening hours were slashed following a series of assaults inside and outside the premises.

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DIRECTIVES ISSUED: Sophia’s Bar, to have its opening hours limited from 9am to 11pm on Monday to Thursday and 9am to midnight at weekends

Barrow Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee met at Barrow Town Hall yesterday to discuss the fate of Sophia’s in Dalton Road, Barrow.

The review was launched after concerns were raised by police following several incidents of violence and under-18s being found drunk on the premises.

The bar’s owner, Helen Clauson, said her business would be forced to close if the committee followed the police’s recommendations to decrease opening hours while increasing door staff.

After considering evidence from both sides, the committee issued a series of directives including removing the bar’s 24-hour licence and removing Mrs Clauson from the position of licensee.

Members heard 45-minute submissions from the police and Mrs Clauson, whose case was led by barrister Mr Wayne Goldstein.

A report detailing a host of incidents that occurred between December 10 to March 17 was given to members.

Examples of disorder included several fights both inside and outside the bar, police finding a 16-year-old girl drunk inside and no door staff manning the premises.

PC John Brooks presented incidents that had occurred since March 17.

They included a fight between males that started inside and then continued outside on March 23; a man who suffered injuries including broken teeth after being assaulted on April 8; and a female member of staff who was assaulted on April 20.

The committee then viewed CCTV images of five assaults, including a fight around a pool table on March 2 where both pool balls and a cue were used as weapons. Points raised by PC Brooks included door staff standing by as customers were fighting, staff being unable to access CCTV footage and assaults taking place inside the bar not being reported by staff.

Mrs Clauson admitted the business had some “teething problems” but that a range of improvements had been made to protect her customers and staff.

These included a new manager being appointed, staff training being carried out, asking all customers for ID, changing the providers of the bar’s door staff and issuing a ‘walk the line’ initiative: where customers who are thought to be drunk have to walk in a straight line to prove they are sober.

The committee spent several hours considering their decision.

Members issued directives including limiting the bar’s opening hours from 9am to 11pm on Monday to Thursday and 9am to midnight at weekends, ruling all staff will have to carry out training once a year and that two door staff must work from 9pm to close on weekends.

Mrs Clauson was removed as the license holder but said she plans to appeal the committee’s decisions.

Have your say

And what is Camerons Britain brian ? The fact that people cannot afford to go out??

This is the result of idiot individuals who cannot hold there drink.

The blame is placed firmly with those and nobody else.

Posted by Andy on 21 May 2012 at 17:37

This is the result of Tony Blair's Britain!

Posted by brian greaves on 21 May 2012 at 12:23

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