Councillors get ready to decide if Norfolk Street, Wisbech, can have a 24/7 off licence

A POLICE chief warned that a bid by a Wisbech off licence to open 24 hours a day, seven days a week “will only fuel anti social behaviour and violent crime”.

Inspector Andy Sullivan is heading opposition to proposals by Kanapathipillai Thivakaran for his Haran’s Best Price convenience store in Norfolk Street.

The police sector commander has outlined his objections which will be heard by councillors at a specially convened licensing committee next Tuesday.

Insp Sullivan says the town centre is a “hot spot” for incidents and crimes, many of them alcohol related.

In figures produced for the Fenland Council licensing committee hearing he points out the Medworth ward- which contains Norfolk Street- has one of the highest levels of drink related violence in Fenland and Huntingdonshire.

“To allow these premises to open 24 hours a day to sell alcohol will only fuel the anti social behaviour and violence crime within the town centre,” he said.

“Off sale of alcohol is not regulated by the proprietor as he can maintain no control of the person buying the alcohol and walking across the road to consume this alcohol.

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“The affect of allowing increased times for alcohol sales near to the largest public house in Wisbech could reflect badly on that public house and could encourage ‘pre-loading’ of alcohol.”

Insp Sullivan said that allowing 24 hours a day sales will add to an area “already saturated with off licences and would no doubt cause increased public drinking, public urination and both crime and anti social behaviour. The level of violence is already an issue.”