City bars shut down in blitz

Insp Richard Close and Sgt Bob King outside the Bank on Westgate, Wakefield
Insp Richard Close and Sgt Bob King outside the Bank on Westgate, Wakefield

POLICE shut down six city centre bars temporarily last weekend.

Wakefield Police’s licensing team issued five closure notices to Westgate venues Faisals, Roccos, The Bank, Cave Bar and Black Swan for breaching premises licence conditions. Another city bar, Boomerang, agreed to close following police advice.

Licensing Sgt Bob King said: “Last Friday saw us taking part in a planned licensing enforcement night as part of a Home Office Training Programme. We invited them along to see how we do things locally and for them to offer their advice and guidance.

“We visited eleven premises in the centre of Wakefield along with Home Office advisers.”

Westgate bars Havana, Flares, Exchange, Elephant and Castle, HD Sports Bar Five premises were all served with warning notices for various licensing offences including notices not being displayed properly, failure to display licences and non compliance with fire safety conditions.

Sgt King added: “William Mackenzie, the alcohol strategy unit lead from the Home Office, praised our unit, saying we were one of the top one or two police licensing enforcement teams nationally. He praised our use of extended powers not regularly used elsewhere in the country and our close work with the council’s licensing team.

“He also said the visits had been some of the most detailed and professional he and his team had seen nationally.”

“We have clearly got our strategy right and are looking to take this forward and continually improve to make sure that Wakefield remains a safe and attractive night time economy”.

The Express understands most of the venues will be trading again by this weekend after complying with conditions.