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Under-fire Uttoxeter pub improves after cop licensing scare

Steeplechase

Steeplechase

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A UTTOXETER pub slammed by police for allowing underage sales, fights and drug use is cleaning up its act.

Staffordshire Police’s Sgt Tracey Carsley last month called for borough bosses to review the Church Street pub’s licence.

She wrote to East Staffordshire Borough Council after two 17-year-old girls were served by licensee Susan Turner in December.

Sgt Carsley said: “The review process can be used to deter any sales of alcohol to children, giving serious consideration to the revocation of the licence.”

When police visited Mrs Turner to interview her about the sales, it was the 15th time they had been called out to the pub since December 2012.

In April, Anthony Swinson, 24, of Didcot Drive, Marchington, was jailed for a brutal glass attack at the Steeplechase.

On five occasions, heavily-intoxicated revellers at the watering hole were arrested or asked to leave the town centre.

Three punters were dealt with for anti-social behaviour linked with drink or drugs and another was found in possession of drugs bought at the establishment.

Trading Standards threw its weight behind Sgt Carsley’s request, agreeing the pub needed to ‘do more to protect children from harm’.

However, licensing chiefs decided landlord Admiral Taverns and licensees Mrs Turner and husband Chris were taking positive steps to tackle their pub’s problems.

A borough licensing spokesman said: “The committee were pleased to note that training had been provided to all staff, UV lights and CCTV, cameras had been installed to deter drug taking, infra-red CCTV was in place at the venue and CCTV was in place in the pub’s car park.

“The committee had been told that Mr and Mrs Turner employed door staff on Saturdays and on other occasions when customer levels demand that door staff should be in place.”

“The chairman sounded a word of caution that, should there be problems in the future, Staffordshire Police would make a fresh application for review and, in those circumstances, all options would be open to the committee, including revocation of the licence.”

Mark Brown, company solicitor for Admiral Taverns, said: “We are satisfied with the outcome of the hearing and will continue to co-operate and work with Staffordshire Police to ensure licensing standards are met at the Steeplechase.

“We have full confidence in Chris and Susan, the licensees, who have worked tirelessly and invested heavily to make the Steeplechase a pub for the whole community and who have fostered a very positive working relationship with the relevant authorities at a local level.”

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