08:00 Monday 18 November 2013

Nightspot's battle over licence

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

POLICE are demanding action to be taken against a Burton town centre nightclub after staff were caught selling alcohol to underage customers.

The licence of The Association, in High Street, is to be scrutinised by council bosses after it failed a police sting, while officers also want a number of conditions placed on its licence due to the level of crime and disorder at the venue, which is popular with town centre revellers.

The Association failed a recent test which sees underage volunteers sent into establishments to order alcohol to see if workers are serving people under the age of 18.

Jed White, Staffordshire Police’s licensing manager, told the Mail: “We are seeking to impose a conditions due to the fact there are a number of underage issues on the premises.

“We are taking it to a review on the back of a failed test, as well as some other issues such as crime and disorder.”

Police in Burton have been carrying out test purchase operations with increasing regularity in order to ensure youngsters being served in venues.

Officers were not impressed with what they found at The Association and are also becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of crime at the club.

The conditions the police are looking to impose are likely to include further training of bar staff relating to the sale of alcohol to people who are underage.

It could see staff undergo awareness training and force the club to enforce a stricter policy on underage drinkers.

Richard Qualter, director of Blackcat Bars, which runs The Association, said: “We are going through a review process with East Staffordshire Borough Council which will be followed by a possible appeal so it would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

The case is due to be heard by East Staffordshire Borough Council’s licensing committee on November 26.

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