Hartlepool calls for more evidence before introducing UK's first Early Morning Restriction Order

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Hartlepool first considered an EMRO in 2013
Hartlepool first considered an EMRO in 2013

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Hartlepool licensing committee has rejected a request by the Safer Hartlepool Partnership to consult on introducing the country’s first Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO.)

If introduced, the order would have forced pubs to close at 2am at the weekend rather than 4am.

Hartlepool council referred the issue back to the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, who will now have to provide more evidence that an EMRO is justified in the city.

'Common sense approach'

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed the move.

“What we want to see is a common sense approach from local authorities and Hartlepool Council have shown that by insisting on evidence to support such a measure.

“The Council’s own statistics state that 40% of late-night venues in Hartlepool have closed since 2005. Additional punitive measures will only place more pressure on those venues that have survived and, in all likelihood, force more to close. It is vital for the long-term future of the town centre that investment is encouraged and incentivised. An EMRO or a late-night levy will only discourage growth and hamper investment.

 “The Council has also mentioned that violent crime in the area has fallen significantly over the past decade. Late-night venues are working hard to provide safe and enjoyable environments for customers. Voluntary and partnership schemes are having a positive effect on town and city centres and it is through these methods that we can continue to tackle alcohol-related harm.”

However, there seemed to be support for earlier closing hours among locals. On Facebook, Debbie Hanley wrote: “Pubs are open far too late. People drink from early so in effect are doing a 12-hour session-not good.”

Hartlepool first considered introducing an EMRO in 2013, but dropped plans in the face of heated opposition from the on trade.

Related topics Legislation

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