Fears over round-the-clock pub opening

A SENIOR police officer has branded a village pub's bid to sell alcohol round-the-clock as "excessive" – and fears it could create serious problems for the community.

By John Howard

A SENIOR police officer has branded a village pub's bid to sell alcohol round-the-clock as "excessive" – and fears it could create serious problems for the community.

The Dukes Head at Coddenham, near Ipswich, has applied to licensing authority Mid Suffolk District Council to be open and serve alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The extra opening hours will give the pub the flexibility to be able to show late televised sport from around the world to customers, and will limit the numbers at the pub between 1am and 8am to just 20 on those nights.


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The pub would also play no music at those times and would ask customers to leave quietly through the back door.

Joint landlord Richard Jordan said he wanted the flexibility to be able to allow villagers to drink later if they wanted to, or to be able to show sporting televised events such as the Grand Prix in the southern hemisphere to locals who can enjoy a few drinks at the same time.

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Mr Jordan said late opening would not be a regular occurrence, but would also allow the village's only pub to offer a better service.

But Inspector Geoff Nunn, who works at the operations support department at western area headquarters in Bury St Edmunds, said he was concerned at the plan.

"While it is accepted that the area does not suffer from crime or the problems associated with licensed premises within a town centre or urban area, being located in a rural area, the hours are seen by the police as excessive," he said.

Insp Nunn also fears that Coddenham could become a magnet for people seeking alcohol late into the night and it would only take one or two people to cause a serious nuisance within the community.

Suffolk Constabulary wants the pub to be restricted to selling alcohol until 1am and that later hours could be sought on a temporary basis.

Police also feel that introducing CCTV cameras at the pub could assist in reducing any disorder or crimes locally.

Colin Sloan, legal services manager at the district council, said the authority has received no objections from anyone other than the police.

A licensing hearing will be held before councillors at the authority's Needham Market offices on Thursday, from 10am.

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