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Update: Weymouth clubs to stop selling alcohol at 5am
8:40am Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
TIME is being called on Weymouth’s 24 hour drinking culture after nightclub owners agreed to stop serving drinks at 5am.
Several venue operators are supporting a voluntary agreement which will see no-one served alcohol after 5am and customers told to leave by 5.15am. The pilot scheme will start next month and run for a trial period before being assessed.
There have been growing calls for clubs to close earlier after a spate of early morning violence.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, which is responsible for issuing licences to premises to serve alcohol, says it has been working in partnership with Dorset Police and Public Health Dorset to introduce the scheme.
However, the Pubwatch group says it has been discussing the issue for the past year and it approached the council with a suggested time.
The scheme targets those premises open after 5am.
The move aims to prevent the crossover between night-time revellers leaving venues, and families wanting to enjoy the seafront in the early morning. Police hope it will help reduce crime and alcohol-related incidents.
Borough council spokesman for community safety Geoff Petherick said: “We are very pleased that seven premises have signed up voluntarily to the scheme. This represents an important step forward in our aims to prevent anti-social behaviour in the town centre at night, yet keep the balance with ensuring our night time economy remains vibrant.”
Premises that have signed up so far include The Nook, The Lazy Lizard, Actors, Dolce Vita, Goldfingers, Dusk, Tuatara-Bar/The Closet.
Acting Inspector Neil Wood of Weymouth police, said: “This is a really positive move for Weymouth and gives a clear break between where the night time economy ends, and the day time economy starts.”
The pilot scheme will operate from January 2014 for an initial six months before being evaluated.
Keith Treggiden of Pubwatch said as well as early closing, some seafront venues were working to create a taxi marshalling system outside.
He said there was a balance to walk regarding early closing as it affected businesses operating in the night-time economy.
Mr Treggiden said an even earlier time could be agreed at a later stage depending on how things go.
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