BRIDGEND COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL COUNCIL 13 AUGUST 2008 REPORT OF THE MONITORING OFFICER LICENSING ACT 2003 STATEMENT OF LICENSING POLICY 1 1.1 Purpose of Report To approve an amendment to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy for the period 2008-2011. Link to Corporate Priorities The duties of the licensing authority are regulatory in nature, and the Act sets out the licensing objectives which must be considered as part of any decision making process. The statutory licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm support many of the aims of the corporate priorities and Community Safety Plan. Background The Council is required to publish a Statement of Licensing Policy with respect to the exercise of its licensing functions. On 20 December 2007, following a statutory consultation process, the policy was re-published and a special policy relating to the cumulative impact of licensed premises in Wyndham Street, Market Street, and Derwen Road Bridgend was re-adopted. Current situation/proposal As part of the consultation process, the Council received a request from the South Wales Police to extend the area to which the special policy applies to include Nolton Street, Bridgend to its junction with Merthyr Mawr Road, Bridgend [for the avoidance of doubt, this means Nolton Street from its junction with Ewenny Road, to its junction with Merthyr Mawr Road, but not the area between Merthyr Mawr Road and the junction with Court Road Bridgend]. However, having considered the request, Council resolved that a further consultation exercise be carried out as the evidence supporting the request was not publicly available during the original consultation exercise. As this proposal would be likely to affect new development of licensed premises and changes to existing premises local businesses in Nolton Street, interested parties were given the opportunity to comment on the evidence submitted by the Police in addition to the statutory consultees. The type of development which could be affected would range from new public houses, registered members clubs, new restaurants and takeaways which operate after 2300 hours, or variations to existing licensed premises.
A further consultation exercise was carried out between 10 January 2008 and 29 February 2008 and a list of consultees is attached at Appendix A. The consultation was also published on the Bridgend County Borough Council website. Although a number of informal enquiries were received, only one formal response was submitted. The Ward Member at that time submitted representations in support of the proposal. Bridgend Town Council submitted representations in support as part of the first consultation process. The consultation included national as well as local businesses who may wish to open premises in Nolton Street or extend their operations at some point in the future. The effect of extending the special policy is to create a rebuttable presumption that applications for new premises licences or club premises certificates or variations which are likely to add to the existing cumulative impact in Nolton Street will normally be refused, following relevant representations, unless the applicant can demonstrate that the operation of the premises will not add to crime and disorder or public nuisance. The statutory guidance issued to licensing authorities recognises that public house, clubs, restaurants and cafes could all sell alcohol and provide entertainment, but with contrasting styles, customer base and characteristics. Although the Council may adopt a special policy in respect of a particular area such as Nolton Street, this must not fetter the discretion of an individual Licensing SubCommittee to give proper regard to these differences and the differing impact they will have on the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder and prevention of public nuisance. The details of the evidence circulated are attached at Appendix B. The evidence provided by the South Wales Police is summarised as follows: The evidence relates to the period since the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003 i.e. November 2005 to August 2007. The South Wales Police advise that the development of licensed premises will lead to further incidents of crime, disorder and public nuisance in Nolton Street. Of 199 violent crimes recorded over a 6 monthly period in the Morfa Ward (which includes Nolton Street) 48% (96) were recorded as alcohol related. A study of monthly alcohol related violent crime which has occurred in the Morfa Ward reveals that these offences steadily decreased from May through to July but rose sharply during August with the overall trend creeping upward over the period. 54% of all violent crime and 57% of alcohol related violent crime has been identified as occurring in the street within the Morfa Ward. A pie chart on page 6 of the evidence at Appendix B gives a breakdown of alcohol related violence in the town centre. 54% occurred in the street and 26% happened in or within the direct proximity of licensed premises. In addition, a table on page 12 of the evidence specifically relates to violent, alcohol related offences. 2
The statutory guidance issued in connection with the Licensing Act 2003 indicates that a Council may adopt such a policy if it is satisfied that there is good evidence that crime and disorder or nuisance are happening and are caused by the customers of licensed premises or that the risk of cumulative impact is imminent. The police report indicates that research into incidents of recorded anti-social behaviour and public order offences, i.e. assaults, drunkenness, disorder and criminal damage was undertaken for the period November 2005 to May 2007. This period coincides with the introduction of the new licensing regime. The report indicates that Nolton Street is the fourth placed street in respect of such offences. Of the 47 commercial premises, licensed premises account for 14, a total of 29%. The South Wales Police believe that there is a causal link between the number of licensed premises situated within Nolton Street and the offences recorded. Council is also required to have regard to the evidence provided by the South Wales Police in relation to Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; the Council is under a duty to exercise its various functions with due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on, and the need to do all it reasonably can to prevent, crime and disorder in its area. The South Wales Police have concluded that the data provided demonstrates the cumulative effect of having a considerable number of licensed premises located in close proximity. Such premises not only give rise to serious problems of crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour and public nuisance but these problems extend into the surrounding area, beyond the control of individual licence holders. They request that consideration should be given to incorporating Nolton Street into the special policy area. In order to promote the licensing objective of the prevention of crime and disorder, Council is recommended to accept the evidence provided by the South Wales Police and approve an amendment to the special policy to include Nolton Streetfrom its junction with Ewenny Road, to its junction with Merthyr Mawr Road, but not including the area between Merthyr Mawr Road and the junction with Court Road Bridgend. In approving this amendment, Council is advised that the adoption of a special policy does not mean automatic refusal of applications. Responsible authorities such as the police will be required to submit representations for each application received which must be relevant and contain supporting evidence for a Licensing Sub-Committee to properly consider. After receiving representations from a responsible authority the licensing authority must consider whether it would be justified in departing from this special policy in the light of the individual circumstances of the case. Effect upon Policy Framework and Procedure Rules The report content has no direct effect upon the Policy Framework and Procedure Rules but is required to effectively implement the authority’s responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003.
Legal Implications The Council has a duty to promote the licensing objectives which include the prevention of crime and disorder and to review the Statement of Licensing Policy from time to time. Financial Implications There are no financial implications arising from this report. Recommendation
7 7.1 8
Council is recommended to: 8.1 Approve the amendment to the Council’s Statement of Policy to extend the area to which the special policy on cumulative impact applies, to include Nolton Street, Bridgend to its junction with Merthyr Mawr Road, Bridgend [for the avoidance of doubt, this means Nolton Street from its junction with Ewenny Road, to its junction with Merthyr Mawr Road, but not the area between Merthyr Mawr Road and the junction with Court Road Bridgend. Set a date for any revision, if approved, to take effect. Authorise the amendment and publication of the Statement if any revision is approved.
P A Jolley Assistant Chief Executive Legal and Regulatory Services and Monitoring Officer Date: 2 July 2008
Yvonne Witchell Licensing and Registration Officer Contact telephone number 643105 Yvonne.Witchell@bridgend.gov.uk
Background documents: Report to Council 15 December 2004 and 20 December 2007 Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 by the Department for culture, media and sport available at www.culture.gov.uk
The Superintendent – South Wales Police The Chief Fire Officer – South Wales Fire & Rescue Service Mr P Stanton – Public Protection Department Mrs C James, Clerk – Bridgend Town Council Councillor R D L Burns – Oldcastle Ward Councillor E Mcllveen – Oldcastle Ward Councillor M M Bertorelli – Newcastle Ward Councillor G C Lewis – Newcastle Ward Mr L Le Breuilly, Chairman – Bridgend Chamber of Trade Bargain Booze Head Office, Weston Road, Crewe Aldi, Cheapside, Bridgend Aroma Garden, 86 Nolton Street Bridgend Ashoka Tandoori Restaurant, 68 Nolton Street, Bridgend Barracuda Bar, 9 Wyndham Street, Bridgend Bridgend Balti House, 27 Market Street, Bridgend Café Bangla, 53 Nolton Street, Bridgend Castle Leisure Club, Tremains Road, Bridgend Coity Castle, 2 Morfa Street, Bridgend Court House, Derwen Road, Bridgend Crystal Bank T/A Jade, 94 Nolton Street, Bridgend Dunraven Hotel, Wyndham Street, Bridgend East Port Cantonese Restaurant, 72 Nolton Street, Bridgend Golden Bowl Takeaway, 80 Nolton Street, Bridgend Lava & Ignite, Derwen Road, Bridgend Marmaris Kebab & Pizzas, 33 Wyndham Street, Bridgend Natraj Tandoori Restaurant, 16 Wyndham Street, Bridgend O’Neills, 44 – 44a Nolton Street, Bridgend Old Castle Inn, 90 Nolton Street, Bridgend Olympic Kebab & Chicken House, 100 Nolton Street, Bridgend Oriental Inn, 52 Nolton Street, Bridgend Poco Poco Tapas Restaurant, 14 Wyndham Street, Bridgend Railway, Derwen Road, Bridgend Saphire, 26 Wyndham Street, Bridgend Spar, 14 – 15 Ewenny Road, Bridgend Spice Restaurant, 59 – 61 Nolton Street, Bridgend The Roof, Market Street, Bridgend USA Fried Chicken, 39 Wyndham Street, Bridgend Welcome to Town, Nolton Street, Bridgend Wyndham Arms, Dunraven Place, Bridgend York Café Bar, Wyndham Street, Bridgend Bridgend & District United Services Club, 1 Tondu Road, Bridgend Bridgend Athletic Rugby Football Club, 12 Ewenny Road, Bridgend Bridgend Bowling Tennis & Croquet Assoc. Church Road, Bridgend Bridgend Conservative Club, 11 Dunraven Place, Bridgend Bridgend Lodges Masonic Club, Coychurch Road, Bridgend Great Western Railway Social & Sports Club, Coity Road, Bridgend
ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR & ALCOHOL RELATED VIOLENT CRIME BRIDGEND TOWN CENTRE NOVEMBER 2005 TO AUGUST 2007
FORWARD South Wales Police, make the following representations concerning the accumulation of licensed premises within the saturation area of BRIDGEND town centre i.e. DERWEN ROAD, WYNDHAM STREET and MARKET STREET in respect of the local authority’s “Statement of Licensing Policy.” Additional licensed premises can attract further customers as well as additional revenue to the area, however once the saturation point has been reached this can have a negative impact on the surrounding area beyond the control of individual license holders. The cumulative affect of an increase in licensed premises within a specific area can give rise to disproportionate instances of crime, disorder and anti-social activity. In view of this and in the interest of public safety the South Wales Police believe that serious consideration should be given to the local authority not only renewing the special policy but extending it further to incorporate NOLTON STREET from its junction with Merthyr Mawr Road to Ewenny Road. The police request that issues of public safety, crime prevention, anti-social behaviour and the avoidance of public nuisance should be considered as a priority when considering each application for licensed premises. Bridgend town centre has now reached its capacity in respect of the numbers of people who visit during the evenings and on weekends. Derwen Road, Wyndham Street and Market Street encounter regular and persistent instances of public disorder which has a direct impact upon crime and the fear of crime, hampering attempts to attract a cross section of the community into the town centre. Linked to the instances of disorder is the need to allocate additional resources to the “hot spot” area which in turn affects the way the borough is policed as all too often it is necessary to draft additional officers from across the county borough to police the town centre. This has a detrimental affect on the policing capacity and the ability to provide both visibility and reassurance across the borough. The number of licensed premises has now reached saturation point and as they all offer similar entertainment and refreshment to allow anymore would seriously jeopardise the safety of both the public and police alike. A gradual increase in licensed premises in the designated area has been matched by an increase in the number of crime and disorder offences and to permit the future development of premises will lead to further incidents of crime, disorder and public nuisance. Although every new application will be taken on its merits the police are likely to strongly object to any new application at this location.
There are 20 establishments which hold Premises Licences in Derwen Road, Wyndham Street and Market Street and these streets are constantly highlighted as problem areas in terms of alcohol related incidents providing a casual link between a high concentration of licensed premises all in close proximity. Indeed the venues within the saturation area have a total capacity in excess of 5,500 potential customers. These 3 streets form the “hot-spot” area designated as being part of the current special saturation policy of Bridgend town centre agreed between the local authority and the police. The effect of adopting a special policy of this kind is to create a rebuttable presumption that applications for new Premises Licenses or material variations of licenses will normally be refused, if relevant representations to that effect are received, unless applicants can demonstrate that the operation of the premises involved will not add to the negative cumulative impact already being experienced in this area. This is a high density drinking area and contains the highest concentration of bars, clubs, restaurants, takeaways and late night refreshment houses within the borough and therefore experiences the greatest volume of pedestrian traffic. Consequently there is a disproportionate amount of crime, public disorder, anti-social behaviour and public nuisance in the area and in licensed premises located within when compared to the rest of the borough. Since the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003 on 24th November 2005 all premises within the saturation area have been granted extended hours and it is now possible to imbibe alcohol in this area from 09.00am until 05.45am the following morning. Unfortunately those venues within the saturation area have, in the vast majority of cases seen an increase in the number of reported incidents and recorded crime and disorder. Some of these increases have been significant and are unacceptable. Furthermore the police have received application for planning consent for premises at Wyndham Street and Market Street which have obvious ambitions to become licensed. The police raised strong objections to these applications for a change of use to provide amenity in the form of fast-food takeaways. However, planning consent was approved for one application with a restricted condition of opening i.e. 08.30hrs to 02.30hrs. The South Wales Police maintain that the special policy is wholly justified and should not only be retained but extended to incorporate NOLTON STREET. Further information and analysis is detailed below to support these representations.
ANALYTICAL STUDY INTO ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR The Divisional Performance Analyst has conducted research into incidents of recorded anti-social behaviour and public order offences i.e. assaults, drunkenness, disorder and criminal damage in the 10 Bridgend town centre streets between November 2005 and May 2007. Anti-social behaviour recorded between these periods showed that disorder offences were most prevalent by far in Derwen Road, closely followed by Wyndham Street then Market Street. If one considers the statistics as a whole during the given period then 229 offences occurred in Wyndham Street, 190 offences occurred in Derwen Road, which is by far the worst in Bridgend County Borough followed in third place by Market Street with 76. These figures are somewhat misleading in that they would arguably be significantly higher but for the closure for refurbishment of the largest capacity venue within the borough, Lava Ignite which is situated at Derwen Road. SUMMARY The analysis covered a two and a half year period and it is highly significant that these streets form the saturation area subject of the special policy. The public order statistics fully vindicate the decision of the local authority, supported by the police to establish a saturation area subject of a special policy. Nolton Street was the area which was fourth placed in respect of such offences and it is also significant that there are a considerable number of licensed premises in this area. Infact of the 47 commercial properties in Nolton Street licensed premises account for 14, a total of 29%. The South Wales Police therefore submit that there is also a causal link between the number of licensed premises situated within Nolton Street and the offences recorded. ANALYTICAL STUDY INTO ALCOHOL RELATED VIOLENT CRIME Analysis has also been undertaken to determine monthly numbers of alcohol related violent crimes in the ward of Morfa which incorporates Bridgend Town Centre. Analysis is restricted as violence where alcohol has been a causal factor has not been logged on the police database in many cases. To gain knowledge of which offences are alcohol related violence, each Modus Operandi (M.O.) of the crimes has been studied to determine whether alcohol had been a contributory factor in the violent offence. Violent offences which have taken place since March 2007 have been analysed, coinciding with the implementation of the new database.
Summary Of 199 violent crimes recorded over a 6 monthly period in the Morfa ward, 48% (96) are recorded as alcohol related. A study of monthly alcohol related violent crime which has occurred in the Morfa ward reveals that these offences steadily decreased from May through to July but rose sharply during August with the overall trend creeping upward over the period. When violent crimes are compared on a 3 monthly basis in the Morfa ward, analysis shows that 92 violent crimes occurred between March and May 2007 which increased to 107 violent crimes from June to August 2007. This represents an increase of 16% between the 2 periods. When alcohol related violent crime is compared on a 3 monthly basis, analysis shows that 39 alcohol related violent crimes took place from March to May 2007 rising to 57 crimes from June to August 2007 which represents a 46% increase when comparing the 2 quarterly periods. 54% of all violent crime and 57% of alcohol related violent crime has been identified as occurring in the street within the Morfa ward. Wyndham Street, Derwen Road and Market Street are those streets within the town centre which form the saturation area subject of the Special Policy agreed between the police and the local authority. It is highly significant that the highest volume of violent offences and alcohol related violence over the 6 monthly period occurred in these 3 streets. Infact 52% of all violent crime within the Morfa ward occurred in these 3 streets over the 6 months. Alcohol related violent crime which has taken place on these 3 streets accounts for 65% of all alcohol related violent crime within the Morfa ward. ANALYSIS Of 199 crimes, the M.O. of 84 of the crimes has not been updated as to whether the crimes are alcohol or non-alcohol related. The top line in the chart below demonstrates all violent crime which has occurred within the Morfa ward March to August 2007 correlating with the bottom line which represents all alcohol related violent crimes that have occurred over the period. A climbing long term trend has been identified in alcohol related violent crime with crimes decreasing from May through to July but rising during August.
Alcohol related crime
45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 41 35 27 30 18 10 11 35 31 27 17 13
Premises in which all violent crimes have occurred over the period are demonstrated below. 54% of all violent crimes occurred on the street during the 6 monthly period with 26% of offences happening in or within direct proximity of licensed premises.
Premises Street 54%
Licensed Premises 26%
Takeaway 1% Bus Station 6%
When analysing premises where alcohol related violence occurred 57% of offences took place on the street over the period whilst 32% occurred within licensed premises.
Alcohol related premises Street 57%
Licensed Premises 32%
Bus Station 2% Dwelling Store 8% 1%
The table below identifies Derwen Road, Wyndham Street and Market Street as being areas where the highest, most consistent volume of violent, alcohol related offences occurs.
All Alcohol All
Caroline St Derwen Rd Market St Nolton St Wyndham St Adare St Brackla St Dunraven Pl Queen St York Pl
1 6 1 1 7
3 1 1 1
6 6 2 4 1 1 1 1
3 5 1
8 4 1 10 1
4 4 8
9 9 3 2
6 4 1
4 5 6 3 1
3 3 2 2
4 6 6 3 2 1 3
3 4 6 1 2 1 1
1 1 1 1
The map below highlights the location of the 3 streets subject of the special saturation policy with Nolton Street also detailed.
Conclusion The figures clearly demonstrate the cumulative effect of having a considerable number of licensed premises located in close proximity. Such premises not only give rise to serious problems of crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour and public nuisance but these problems extend into the surrounding area, beyond the control of individual licence holders. Further grants or variations of Premises Licenses in this area will only exacerbate the existing situation. The South Wales Police maintain that the special policy is wholly justified and the local authority should not only continue to operate the policy but it should also be extended to incorporate NOLTON STREET.