Police have promised to clamp down on late night drinking in Burnley but only if trouble increases.
Licensing Sgt Jason Middleton was speaking after three men were charged over Easter Bank Holiday weekend following a drunken brawl in Hammerton Street at 7am, which left one man hospitalised.
Licensed premises have to take responsibility as well. They need to make sure they are not serving people who are already drunk and they need to ensure that when people leave the premises, they are doing so quietly and responsiblySgt Jason Middleton
“The sad fact is that a lot of violent crime involves people who are intoxicated and it happens at kicking out time. This used to be 2 – 3am back in the olden days. Now it’s happening at 7 – 8am and this has massive implications on the police.
“That being said there have only really been two serious incidents at this time so far this year in Burnley.
“The vast majority of places still do shut at 2 - 3am but it is an issue we are looking at. If trouble does start to increase then we will look at it again. Early Morning Restriction Orders and late night levies are just a couple of things we can look at.”
Town centre bar owners are pleading with local authorities to reduce opening hours in a bid to revitalise the dying club scene and make the streets safer but Sgt Middleton said they must take responsibility too.
“Licensed premises have to take responsibility as well. They need to make sure they are not serving people who are already drunk and they need to ensure that when people leave the premises, they are doing so quietly and responsibly.
“There are some decent people in there at this time, people who have been working in the surrounding bars and clubs and just want to go for a quiet drink before going home. But of course there is a certain calibre of people there also.
“The police are not going to be there at 7 or 8am to prevent anything from happening like they are between 2 and 3am but we will respond to any problems as quickly as possible.”