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Sussex Police pulls out of Worthing Pubwatch

By Gurjit Degun , 12-Feb-2013
Last updated on 12-Feb-2013 at 12:02 GMT

Related topics: General News

Sussex Police have pulled out of Worthing Pubwatch after a “breakdown in the relationship”.

It comes after the police issued a licence review on Liquid Lounge and Light Bar because it was concerned about a “number of incidents involving crime, disorder and public nuisance in and around the two premises in the past 18 months”.

Worthing Pubwatch and some members sent Adur and Worthing Council a letter in support of the venue.

A statement from the police said that the letter accused them of not giving any prior warning to the management of Liquid Lounge and Light Bar.

The letter added that this meant “the publicans' trust of Sussex Police had been damaged which could result in them being afraid to report an incident at their premises”.

It also defended a series of "issues and incidents they [Sussex Police] consider unacceptable" saying "premises that sell alcohol in the late night economy will always experience some incidents of violence, criminal behaviour and drunkenness".

The incidents listed included serious assaults and sexual offences.
 
“It is disappointing that we are left with no option but to withdraw our support to Worthing Pubwatch, having previously had a good working relationship with them,” said Jean Irving, Sussex Police's licensing and public safety manager.

"The evidence submitted by Sussex Police, and accepted by the management of the Liquid Lounge and Light Bar, clearly demonstrates that a number of warnings regarding unacceptable practises were given to the management of the premises.

"It concerns us that the implication within the letter is that licensed premises will consider not reporting incidents which take place at their premises. Not only would this fail to promote the licensing objectives which form the basis of their licences but it would also be failing in their duty of care to the public.”

She added that the police will continue the “positive relationship with individual licensees in the town”.

Diane Guest of Worthing Pubwatch said that she was unable to comment on behalf of the group until after a meeting set to take place on Tuesday.

However, from a personal point of view, she said: “I am extremely disappointed. I have been the chair of the pub watch since 2001 and we have had a very good relationship with Sussex Police.”

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