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Leeds takeaway granted licence despite objection from police

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A takeaway can continue to operate in a crime-stricken area of Leeds, despite objections from police.

Members of Leeds City Council's Licensing Sub Committee yesterday (June 12) granted a licence for Space to Eat to serve late night food, until 5am each day.

Their decision was made despite concerns from police that the Hirst's Yard takeaway sits in an area of the city centre where drug dealing and alcohol-related violent crime is rife during the early hours of the morning.

PC Cath Arkle, Leeds District Licensing Officer with West Yorkshire Police, said there had been a 15 per cent rise in reported crime around nearby Briggate and Call Lane since last year's statistics.

She said the takeaway was located in an "alcohol-related violent crime hotspot", which suffered issues including drug dealing, assault and robbery.

She told the meeting: "We already recognise that Hirst's Yard is a difficult area. I have concerns about keeping people in that area [to eat] after they have left the clubs."

The takeaway, a kiosk hole-in-the-wall, lies within a zone of the city centre designated 'red' by the council because it is "highly saturated" and experiencing high levels of crime and disorder.

The authority's policy is to reject applications for alcohol-led premises or those seeking late night refreshment, unless the applicant can show their venue would not add to issues in the area.

A licence was given to the venue for six months in January 2017, and again for six months in October 2017.

Applicant In The Pink Limited, which runs the takeaway, wanted to show that security measures for the kiosk - additional CCTV, lighting and door supervision in Hirst's Yard - would reduce crime and disorder in the area.

Representing the applicant, Paddy Whur said there was no evidence that the fast-food kiosk had contributed to a rise in crime and that its CCTV had actually been useful to police in dealing with issues in the yard.

Members of the committee, councillors Neil Buckley, Ben Garner and Kim Groves, approved the licence.

In a statement they said: "If these premises were not to continue operating, those extra safety measures would not continue in a problem area."