Concern over Leeds bar’s 4.30am bid

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A city centre bar’s application to extend its opening hours has attracted opposition from the police over the feared impact on crime in the area.

Leeds City Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee is today (Sept 29) due to consider an application by the Black Swan on Call Lane to open until 4.30am on a Friday and Saturday and 3.30am from Sunday to Thursday.

The venue’s current licence – issued when it was formerly known as BRB – allows it to open until 3am and to serve alcohol and play music until 2am.

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Under the new bid, the bar’s bosses propose serving alcohol and playing music for another two hours on Fridays and Saturdays, until 4am, and until 3am from Sunday to Thursday. The Black Swan lies within the ‘red zone’ of a city centre ‘cumulative impact policy’ – an area where there are “significant” numbers of nightspots already.

In her objections, PC Cath Arkle, Leeds District Licensing Officer for West Yorkshire Police, said: “It is an alcohol related violent crime hotspot for robbery, assault and theft”, with the extended hours falling into the “peak times” for thefts and assaults in the area.

She added: “West Yorkshire Police are also of the opinion that crime and disorder associated with the venue has reached an unacceptable level over the past six months, including seven offences of actual bodily harm and one allegation of attempt rape, amongst other incidents.”

The Environmental Health department has also submitted objections based on the impact on noise disturbance and that it would set a precedent for neighbouring bars. In their accompanying documents, the Black Swan’s bosses say they will have a CCTV system monitoring inside and outside the bar, door staff from 9pm until closing and no entry after 2am in the week and 3am on a weekend.

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