A PLAN for Hartlepool to become the first town in the country to ban all alcohol sales in the town centre in the early hours of the morning will be discussed by councillors in the coming days.
Hartlepool Borough Council's licensing committee has twice before considered adopting an Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Order (EMRO) but both times rejected the plan after the town's pubs and other alcohol licence sellers objected. Since Hartlepool's first decision in 2013 no other council in the country has adopted an EMRO, despite powers granted by the Government that year. Now the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, a body which aims to reduce anti-social behaviour in the town, has once again requested the committee consider an alcohol ban.
The licensing committee will consider whether to seriously look at the issue again at a meeting at Hartlepool Civic Centre at 2pm on Wednesday (Feb 24). A council report to the committee says that since 2005 about 40 per cent of all late licensed premises in the town have closed and now only 14 places are allowed to sell alcohol after 2am.
The report said: "As the Safer Hartlepool Partnership has access to the most relevant crime and disorder statistics, members (councillors) may feel that it would be appropriate for the Safer Hartlepool Partnership to collate and present evidence of alcohol-related crime and disorder to the Licensing Committee before any further consideration can be given to the matter."
By Chris Weber - The Northern Echo/Feb. 21, 2016
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