Town centre off licence approved despite police, church and public opposition

NOT even a 200 plus strong petition, protest letters from two police chiefs and a terse letter from a Methodist minister were enough to stop a town centre off licence being approved.

Soran Hussein won the support of Fenland District Council Licensing Committee who gave the green light today to allow a mini market at 17 Church Terrace, Wisbech, to sell alcohol.

Sector commanders Inspector Rob Hill and Andy Sullivan both raised concerns over the application and hundreds signed petitions opposed to it.

Insp Sullivan had claimed the presence of yet another shop selling alcohol “will only fuel the anti social behaviour and violent crime within the town centre”.

It was also feared people could buy cheaper drink from the off licence and then carry it into a nearby pub and introduce more alcohol into an area “already saturated” with off licenses.

Inspector Hill said the front of nearby Trinity Church “is already being used by public drinkers leaving urine, sick and litter. The inclusion of a further licensed premise will add to further acts of anti social behaviour and disorderly behaviour affecting this busy community church”.

Police also claimed there were 256 incidents of anti social behaviour in the town centre in the past year, 52 criminal damage incidents and 119 violent crimes including 10 robberies, two sexual assaults and a rape.

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Inspector Hill said 83 of these crimes were alcohol related.