Police oppose takeaways' late opening

POLICE in west Suffolk fear crime spiralling if takeaways are allowed to stay open until nearly 4am in the morning.The force raised its concerns following a request by a kebab house in Bury St Edmunds to extend its closing time from 1.

POLICE in west Suffolk fear crime spiralling if takeaways are allowed to stay open until nearly 4am in the morning.

The force raised its concerns following a request by a kebab house in Bury St Edmunds to extend its closing time from 1.30am until 3.45am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

In November 2005, takeaways were forced to shut before the town's nightclubs. This helped cut crime and disorder in the town.

But faced with what a senior police officer called “an already challenging situation”, the force fears this success could be undone if the way is paved for all takeaways to remain open later.


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Charlies Kebab House in St Andrews Street South, Bury, wants to stay open until 3.45am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Its current closing time is 1.30am - half an hour before the closing time of nearby nightclub Xtreme.

In his application to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, owner Nazif Erimhan vowed to provide security staff, clear up litter outside the shop and will offer customers free drinking water whilst open.

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But residents, councillors and the police have raised concerns about the late night bid.

In his letter to the council, Inspector Ady Calton said: “Since November 2005, I have robustly defended Suffolk Constabulary's position with regard to the closing of fast food outlets prior to the nightclubs, which significantly reduced crime and disorder in Bury St Edmunds town centre and the abuse that my officers receive when persons who are under the influence of intoxicating liquor leave the nightclubs and queue for food at the fast food outlets where many fights occurred.

“Any increase in hours will compound an already challenging situation, with more persons having to walk home because of a lack of taxis.”

Richard Rout, Abbeygate ward councillor on Bury St Edmunds Town Council, said: “We will be supporting the residents and the police with their concerns on this.”

Paul Farmer, borough councillor for Abbeygate, said: “As ward member I am very concerned about the late hour of this particular application.”

Roger and Katrina Morris, of Kings Road in Bury, said they feared being disturbed at night and feared the impact of potentially increased litter levels.

Mr Erimhan was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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