A RYEDALE pub has kept its late licence – despite police pressure to put back its closing time.
But its new licensee has been warned by pub licensing chiefs that the opening hours will be reviewed again if there is any further trouble at The King’s Head in Malton’s Market Place.
The police had called on Ryedale District Council’s Licensing sub-committee to take action last week following a number of incidents which officers had linked to the pub in recent months.
And even though landlady Diane Lee has put in place a number of measures to tackle any issues the police had, she refused to budge on a move which would have seen the pub’s closing time moved from 1am to midnight.
The police had argued that of 14 recent incidents they had connected to the pub, 12 of them had been committed after midnight and that it was proving a drain on their resources to station officers in the Market Place just before and after closing time.
Inspector Andy Everitt, commander of Ryedale’s Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “One of the key things that we are saying is that virtually all my Ryedale officers on Friday and Saturday are outside the King’s Head.
“A lot of people will not leave the vicinity until 1.30am or 2am. They spill out onto the street and stand in the Market Place, joking around with some people squaring up. I’m then picking up phone calls from people as these people make their way home through Malton and Norton.
“We get incidents of damage to cars, street furniture and windows as people make their way back.”
“My submission, from a wider policing perspective, is that additional hour in terms of extra alcohol consumed has an impact on policing resources and the wider emergency services. I cannot afford my five or six officers every Friday or Saturday night to be sat outside The King’s Head.”
But Michael O’Brien, a solicitor representing the King’s Head, argued that people being noisy or committing any other anti-social behaviour could be coming from “places other than the King’s Head”.
He said: “What’s going to happen if the King’s Head is closed at midnight. These people are still going to go elsewhere.
“I would stress the point that I’m pleased Inspector Everitt has acknowledged that we have put many steps in place. We are confident that we will manage the King’s Head without crime and disorder being added to.”
“We would like to stay with a 1am license and if we don’t deliver on it, we will be coming back here in three months or six months time and be answerable to the committee.”
“If we closed at midnight, it would certainly give the customers a shock – they would go elsewhere – but it would have a dramatic effect on business. Any condition has to take into account a financial condition.
“We cannot afford to do that but we must stress for the last six weeks we feel we have gone through a trial period. If we don’t deliver on what we have done, we deserve to come back and be judged.”
The police acknowledged the pub had been helpful in working together to introduce a number of measures at the King’s Head, including an agreement to install a colour CCTV system, using plastic glasses after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays and implementing “Challenge 25” as its mandatory age check.
The pub has also built a boundary fence at the back of the property to separate the beer garden from the public footpath, among other measures.
Ryedale District Council’s Licensing sub-committee ruled that the King’s Head can keep its 1am licence.