‘Street crime lev­els are al­ready se­vere’

Leek Post & Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom Bur­nett news­[email protected]­p­o­stand­times.co.uk

RES­I­DENTS are fight­ing plans to open an off li­cence in their trou­ble­plagued street.

Busi­ness­man Tun­cay Calar ini­tially ap­plied for a premises li­cence to sell al­co­hol from a shop in Sheep­mar­ket in Leek, from 5am un­til mid­night ev­ery day.

Those open­ing hours have since been scaled back to run from 6am un­til 11pm fol­low­ing dis­cus­sions be­tween the ap­pli­cant, Stafford­shire Po­lice and en­vi­ron­men­tal health of­fi­cers.

But res­i­dents still fear the shop will in­crease anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.

Stephen Lanza said: “The crime level is al­ready se­vere with­out more fuel on the fire.

“We have to call 999 most week­ends with­out hav­ing more anti-so­cial be­hav­iour in the street.

“We of­ten wake up to find food, urine, sick and con­doms in the door­ways of shops. The amount of cars in the street af­ter hours has also be­come un­be­liev­able and I

have con­stantly re­ported it to the po­lice and the coun­cil.

“At week­ends there are large groups of kids try­ing to gain ac­cess to pubs. An off-li­cence on the street will only add more is­sues to the al­ready stretched re­sources in the town.”

Ja­son Smith has lodged an ob­jec­tion on be­half of the Mo­saic shop, on Sheep­mar­ket.

He said: “Sheep­mar­ket has a mas­sive prob­lem with large groups of un­der­age youths drink­ing and try­ing to gain en­try to the pub­lic houses.

“The area is al­ready not a suit­able en­vi­ron­ment for them and with the pos­si­bil­ity and temp­ta­tion of lo­cally ac­ces­si­ble al­co­hol it could be­come a mag­net.

“Drinkers are reg­u­larly sick and uri­nate in door­ways in Sheep­mar­ket (pic­tured be­low).

“Ac­cess to al­co­hol at a cheaper cost than the pubs for 19 hours could ac­cel­er­ate the prob­lem with abusers drink­ing in the streets at all times of day and night.

“We are pro­mot­ing Leek as a tourist town – but an off-li­cence could at­tract the wrong peo­ple into the town at all sorts of hours.”

Stafford­shire Moor­lands Dis­trict Coun­cil’s li­cens­ing sub-com­mit­tee is set to rule on the ap­pli­ca­tion at a meet­ing to­mor­row.

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