Takeaway loses bid for longer hours

A BID by a takeaway in Whitley Bay to open for longer has been turned down after police raised fears that the move could increase the amount of trouble they have to deal with at nights.

Hot N Ready, at the junction of Whitley Road and South Parade, had asked to extend its opening hours from 11pm to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and from 11pm to 4am Thursday to Saturday.

Those longer hours would bring it in line with other takeaways nearby, owner Milad Saeidi told North Tyneside Council’s licensing sub-committee last Thursday.

However, Inspector Jim Gray, of Whitley Bay’s neighbourhood policing team, said he was opposed to the move, fearing it could contribute to an increase in disorder.

Almost 60 per cent of all reported crimes in Whitley Bay occurred in and around the streets that host its night-time economy, with the majority of crimes taking place between Fridays and Sundays peaking between 5pm and 4am, he said.

That area is responsible for 77 per cent of all violent crime reported in the town.

In the year to last October, it saw 535 alcohol-related incidents, 246 of them in South Parade and 49 in Whitley Road.

Some 1,100 incidents of anti-social behaviour were reported over that period of time, 313 of them in South Parade and 102 in Whitley Road.

Insp Gray said: “The night-time economy in Whitley Bay has a negative impact on the residents living in the area. We have a culture in Whitley Bay which promotes excess and an anything-goes approach to how people behave.

“We have nothing against people making money, but who is paying the real price?

“My belief is that if you provide more takeaway facilities until this time, more drunken people will remain in the area, which will result in more crime and disorder, more reports of anti-social behaviour, more litter, more reports of piles of sick along the street and more complaints from the community.

“We are beyond saturation point, and the night-time economy needs to look at itself in terms of how it does business.”

Residents submitted a petition to the committee objecting to the application due to fears of an increase in crime and disorder, noise, litter and anti-social behaviour.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Saeidi said he was disappointed to have had his application rejected.

“I don’t see the reason the other takeaways can open until that time but they have refused me,” he said.

“There has been no trouble there in the three months since we have been open.

“We don’t want to serve alcohol, so, if anything, another takeaway would help spread the crowds.”