Police seek suspension and review of licence for Blue Boar, Ludlow (updated 28 Nov)

Update 28 November: Blue Boar to remain closed

Shropshire Council licensing officers say they understand that there will not be a new Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) application made for the time being. They have advised that the premises will need to remain shut until a DPS application is made and approved.

The notice for the Expedited Review of Premises Licence for the Blue Boar has been published on Shropshire Council’s website. The deadline for comments and information to support the review is 9 December. Please contact Adrian Woolley (details below) or write to: Licensing Team, Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND.

The review will take place on 16 December at Shirehall at 9.30am.

Update 27 November: Designated Premises Supervisor Removed

Following a summary application by Sergeant Adrian Woolley to Shropshire Council today, a decision has been made to remove the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) from close of play on 27th November 2014 as an interim measure before the review hearing in December. Sergeant Woolley is urgently seeking written evidence for the review from anyone who has witnessed crime and disorder at the Blue Boar. You can contact Adrian at adrian.woolley@westmercia.pnn.police.uk or ring 101. You can write to Adrian at: Police Station, Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6AZ.

The Blue Boar will close tonight. It is open to the PubCo, Punch Taverns, to apply for another DPS, perhaps as early as tomorrow. The police will assess the application before the pub is allowed to reopen.

What is a Designated Premises Supervisor? The person chosen to be DPS acts as primary contact for local government and the police. They must understand the social issues and potential problems associated with the sale of alcohol, and also have a good understanding of the business itself. The Licensing Act 2003 requires the DPS – and all personal licence holders – to take responsibility for the sale and supply of alcohol. This is because of the impact alcohol has on the wider community, on crime and disorder, and antisocial behaviour. More on this…

Main article: 25 November

My first reaction to news today that the police are to seek a review of the premises licence for the Blue Boar in Mill Street is: “Whoop, whoop!”

We all know how it happens in Ludlow. There’s a progression of rowdy behaviour late at night. It begins in Mill Street and then moves across the town to Corve Street and then to Galdeford. People who live in the town centre, or those who just like a quiet drink and a chat late at night, can end up with quite an unpleasant experience as the drunks disrupt quiet social evenings.

Some people shrug and say that’s just what happens. Many more decide not to come out late because it’s not worth risking hassle. Others who live in the town centre find their lives blighted by antisocial behaviour.

There is no excuse for rowdy behaviour. Our problem in Ludlow is not so much the youngest, inexperienced drinkers who leave “diced carrots” on the pavements. Our town attracts too many men and women who want to get “wrecked” and care nothing about the disruption and fear they cause.

It is illegal for pubs to serve anyone who is drunk, though the financial pressures in the modern licensing trade make this normal practice (see this article from the BBC).

I’d hate to see the night time economy in Ludlow fade. We need pubs, cafés and restaurants that thrive with people. But there is no reason why a thriving town centre needs to be a badly behaved town centre.

The police have now called for a review of the licence for the Blue Boar in Mill Street. This could lead to the pub being closed if the licensing objectives are not being met. These licensing objectives are:

  1. The prevention of crime and disorder.
  2. Public safety.
  3. Prevention of public nuisance.
  4. Protection of children from harm.

The police now asking people who have suffered from antisocial behaviour around the Blue Boar to get in touch as soon as possible. Contact: adrian.woolley@westmercia.pnn.police.uk or ring 101.