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Police top ten ‘bad bars’ revealed

Simon Binns on the shaming FOI: but the bar that started it is strangely missing

Written by . Published on March 2nd 2011.

Police top ten ‘bad bars’ revealed

Confidential has obtained Greater Manchester Police’s list of its ‘top ten’ licensed trouble spots in the city centre.

“Bloom Street itself is a car crash at 4am. It’s too much of a converging area. We have spoken to both the police and the council about this issue a number of times.”

The list, obtained by a Freedom of Information request, does not rank the bars from one to ten, although GMP does allocate points for each incident in particular place.

In no particular order, the top ten, as of last December, were: Yates’ Wine Lodge (Portland Street); Opus (Printworks); Birdcage (Withy Grove); Pure (Printworks); Entourage (Printworks); 5th Avenue; Baa Bar Deansgate Locks; AXM (The Village); 42nd Street; Spirit (The Village, now closed).

Confidential submitted the request following a statement made at a licence hearing for controversial bar Panacea by Supt Jim Liggett, on December 14.

At the hearing, Liggett said: “There are 1,200 licensed premises in Manchester city centre. We allocate points to each one where there are incidents of violence.

“Over the past six-month period Panacea features in our top 10. In comparison with other premises in the top 10, it has a much lower footfall. There is a much higher ratio of problems.”

A story appeared in the MEN the next day with the headline: ‘Celebrity haunt Panacea in top 10 of police trouble spots’, also containing Liggett’s quotes. We covered it too.

We were curious as to the other nine bars on the list during that particular day in December.

So, the list we asked for was the one referred to by Liggett on the day of the hearing – Panacea, plus nine others.

But when we got the list, we were surprised to see that Panacea wasn’t on it. GMP claims the list is a ‘snapshot’ and can change day by day. No other official line was forthcoming.

Confidential spoke to Daniel, the manager at AXM on Bloom Street, who said they were no longer on the list.

“I know that we were on a list regarding call-outs, but people call up with lost phones and all sorts - they are from outside the venue,” he said.

“Bloom Street itself is a car crash at 4am. It’s too much of a converging area. People come from all over town to get taxis and then there’s people coming out of venues around here. We have spoken to both the police and the council about this issue a number of times.

“We’re a members’ only club after 4am and our members pay a lot of money to have that privilege. We are also, as far as I’m aware, the only nightclub venue that has made the switch from glass to polycarbonate – a switch we made off our own backs. Not just to stop trouble but also as a safety measure, because people do drop glasses and girls on nights out do insist on walking round in high heels.

“We’ve also recently made all our security wear high visibility clothing, due to the problems outside. We’re very happy with the way the matters inside the venue are dealt with as are the police.”

A spokesperson for Yates’ Wine Lodge on Portland Street also said they were taking similar measures to curb trouble, such as plastic glasses when football matches were being screened.

Fred Booth, The Printworks centre director, said the high footfall would lead to some of its bars being on the list ‘from time to time’ although it worked closely with the police.

“With a collective footfall of nearly 10 million people annually The Printworks is Manchester’s most visited and successful entertainment destination,” he said. “We are home to some of the largest venues in the city and our licensed premises work hand in hand with the city safe policing team to ensure people can enjoy their nights out safely and responsibly.

“With such a high frequency of visits certain units may appear on this rolling list from time to time due to their size – to put this into context, Pure with a capacity of over 2,700 was awarded ‘Best Club 2010’ at the recent Best Bar None Awards, a national award scheme supported by the Home Office aimed at promoting responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises.”

The difference with the list we published in January (click here) is that instead of just ranking bars on total police call-outs this top ten is ranked on incidents based on points given for severity.

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28 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

M30February 28th 2011.

AXM.. an example of how the village has gone downhill.

"We are also, as far as I´m aware, the only nightclub venue that has made the switch from glass to polycarbonate – a switch we made off our own backs. Not just to stop trouble but also as a safety measure, because people do drop glasses and girls on nights out do insist on walking round in high heels"

Speaks volumes about the establishment and the clientel - it's the sort of place that belongs in Bolton or Wigan.

DIBIGOFebruary 28th 2011.

M30 - do girls only wear high heels in Bolton or Wigan then? The Printworks Director's comments made me laugh. Anyone who can defend the Printworks deserves credit. 10 million people annually visit the printworks... 10 million knobheads.

VoiceofinsanityFebruary 28th 2011.

I vote Dibigo and M30 as Manchester Confidential's most irritating and ugly-worded ranters. They spoil the rants, can't you do something?

M30February 28th 2011.

DIBIGO - Gaggles of girls wearing high heels don't go hand in with Canal Street "proper" in my opinion, and aforementioned gaggles of girls clattering down Canal Street are a reason why it's went to the dogs.

I personally think that AXM would be better located somewhere like The Printworks, or Wigan. Its clientel comprise of all the shite of the day, if you excuse my French. This venue cheapens the integrity of the village and greatly contributes to the reason why a lot of gay people don't socialise down the village much.

M30February 28th 2011.

Voiceofinsanity: Press the red X in the top right hand corner of the screen and we'll both go away immediately.

Engage in debate, by all means, but making personal snipes is a bit naff.

Tyson ThebeerhoundMarch 1st 2011.

A lot of it does sound like self-justifying excuses. Yates, for example, is a dump. Everyone knows it's a dump. It attracts people who like going to dumps and causing trouble.

Plastic glasses aren't the solution, they're just a sympton of the problem. These places should try addressing the real issues-but then they make enough money anyway that there is no real incentive to do so.

calmMarch 1st 2011.

horses for courses - everyone deserves a night out no matter who you are. surely the answer is better taxi ranks/locations at 2am onwards? if these were properly organised everyone would be happier !!

DIBIGOMarch 1st 2011.

M30 - point taken. The Village though, is one of the cheapest and tackiest parts of town. I'd watched the match in the Lass O Gowrie on Saturday and was cutting through the village on my way to Common. I followed a group of girls who were chanting 'get your tits out for the girls', swaggering and spitting in the street. Funnily enough, they weren't clattering down the street wearing heels. 'canal street proper'.

Nigel PooleMarch 1st 2011.

Dear God M30, as a wiganer you can go f##k yourself!! Wigan has it's problems but a jumped up self opinionated pr##k like yourself isn't one of them!!

M30March 1st 2011.

...and there's the reason why I don't want the the village turned into an outpost of Faliraki.

5 WKDs for a tennerMarch 1st 2011.

Aren't these the sort of places that have tempting drink promotions? As it's all in the Printworks, what's the problem? Just keep them all penned in.

UnprintableMarch 1st 2011.

I recently visited the Printworks on a saturday evening (Magic Bar) and both my wife and myself were stunned by the drunkeness and general unsociable behaviour we witnessed. I'm not all suprised many of the venues premises appeared on this list. I think the bar's & the printworks themselves should bear the cost of the additional costs involved to policy this outpost.

Nigel PooleMarch 1st 2011.


homeygnomeyMarch 1st 2011.

The Printworks is just vile. I don't understand why the council ever thought that commercial booze sheds for teens were a good idea over small, independent, local venues.

McTuckyMarch 1st 2011.

1. The village went downhill in 1999/2000 when Queer as Folk aire and Deansgate Locks opened.

2. Wigan has its problems and most stem from the fact its residents don't know when to put an apostrophe in its.

3. I've been in Panacea at least twice a month for the last two years and the suggestion that it's a hotbed of violence is laughable... and as they don't actually appear on the list as suggested perhaps perjury?

Simon McDonaldMarch 1st 2011.

Printworks attracts the self-described hard men (who can of course handle at least 2 more pints than anyone they've ever met) and chavs with its promises of bright orange cleavage on show.

5th Ave is student central... disposable income, no self control.

The majority of inhabitants of the village are just variations on the same neurotic, insecure person.

Then on Deansgate you have the egotistical dickheads who think they're players, and god forbid you should damage their pride.

Why can't we all just have a nice cup of coffee and a biscuit?

Manchester... so much to answer for.

KikiDooMarch 1st 2011.

What a surprise - the two places in the Village are the two most over run with straight guys kicking off.

AnonymousMarch 1st 2011.

The village is over run with louts, coming for the cheap drinks promotions, so in quite a lot of cases the bars are to blame for accepting this type of crowd.

KikiDoo who commented above is perfectly right, the bars in the Village mentioned are magnets for straight lads and the vile hen parties that think it's trendy to go where the 'gays' go.

Simon McDonaldMarch 1st 2011.

There's still far more gay people in the village who are pricks than straight ones, though... so let's not make this another "us and them" flap-fest.

ANONMarch 1st 2011.

Agree with Kikidoo totally, I have been going the village and northern quarter for 8 years and I now favour N Quarter due to Village bars offering cheap drinks and not bothering regulating the clientel so its full of drunken idiots who cant handle their drink... both gay and straight... the only bars you can have a plesant drink in is where the louts cant afford..

M30March 1st 2011.

That would be nice, Anon, but unfortunately not all gay people have unlimited money that they can spend £6 a drink in the NQ. Panacea is a perfect example of the fact that no matter how much drinks cost, the scrotes will still come.

I think that the fact that I've been called a string of abusive words on the pages of this thread illustrates the trojan horse we're letting into the village by places like AXM and the customers and police attention they attract.

AXM isn't going for the same market as the likes of the Thompsons Arms and Velvet, it's not even going after the much talked about Taurus's punters. It's the place where all the straights go. In fact, sometimes it seems it's just after whatever dross they can get through their doors, and sod the consequences. A bar which only serves drinks in plastic glasses should come with a government health warning. Have to admire the manager for the spin though.

radiojaneyMarch 1st 2011.

A friend of mine had his mobile knicked outside AXM by a flower selling pickpocket ,so beware of these men and prob women too.....scumbags
the police have done nothing and yet when we reported it they were v much aware of this problem
so why are they not cracking down on these vendors

markthefotographerMarch 1st 2011.

M30 - you know full well if you make provocative comments about venues with problems of anti-social behaviour "belonging in Wigan or Bolton" that that is going to upset people. It's incredibly snobbish to insinuate that Manchester is above this sort of behaviour which apparently should only exist in working-class towns.

Snobbish MancMarch 1st 2011.

This sort of behaviour should only exist in working-class towns.

M30March 1st 2011.

I didn't set my stall out to be provocative, although there is a chasm of difference between the bar streets of Bradshawgate in Bolton and Wallgate in Wigan to the village or the NQ in Manchester. I don't feel it's an unrealistic comparison to compare Bradshawgate/Wallgate to Benidorm or Faliraki. I've not sought out to tar whole towns with the same brush.

Put simply, AXM has no place in the village. The village isn't a place for loud hen and stag parties, it's not a place for gangs of lads tanked up on Stella to go after gaggles of scantily clad.

It's as incongruous as a drag queen at the Appleby Horse Fair

Matt TuckeyMarch 1st 2011.

Oxford Rd: Cheap drinks deals for studets every night. Virtually no trouble. Deansgate: idiots paying through the nose for Stella, and kicking off.

Idiots will be idiots no matter where they are and how much money they have. People's snobbish attitudes of "price drinks high enough and people can't afford them" smacks of ignorance. Just discipline thse who need it. Let the rest of us enjoy our night without being taxed dry.

Alan OwenMarch 2nd 2011.

The owner of axm is also the chair of the Manchester pub and club network. How funny I find this words could not convey.

Steve.CleggMarch 4th 2011.

cagefightingblogger thank you for restoring my faith in humanity up until your common sense comments i have never read such utter stereotypical crap chatted on one subject i am still waiting for the "bring back national service" comment

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