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REVEALED: Police Call-outs To Bars And Restaurants

...and operators give their verdict on crowd control in the city.

Written by . Published on January 30th 2012.

REVEALED: Police Call-outs To Bars And Restaurants

GREATER Manchester Police were called out to pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants almost 7,000 times last year - and we've got the full list, see below this article.

Before all that though, a couple of caveats, and an important bit of context to the numbers.

All in all, given the size and popularity of Manchester, 6,700 calls isn't a huge number. And GMP were unable to provide details of each call - so for every fight, there's probably a lost mobile phone.

"We have a zero tolerance door policy.When we turn people away it can make them aggravated. That’s when trouble starts, outside the venue not inside.”

Some calls are made by the venues, others are made by members of the public and the name of the bar is often given as the nearest location.

And because the call is made, it doesn't necessarily follow that police had to attend - sometimes advice is given over the phone.

But what it does tell us is where the city is affected by swells of people. Pinch points are being created, it would seem.

And the number of calls by the individual bars in our top ten is up - which we think could be due to the increasing number of places that are opening later and later.

Some venues on Canal Street, for example, are looking to extend their opening hours until 6.30am in the morning and it's not unusual for venues in the Northern Quarter to open beyond 5am. Black Dog Ballroom has 70 calls against it - the highest in the area.

Jobe Ferguson, owner of Black Dog Ballroom, told Confidential the number of people who gather near the bar can affect the figures.

"Whilst we do take police call outs seriously we know that a large number of the 70 incidents stated in the report are outside the venue and often not directly involving our customers," he said.

"We are located on the corner of Church Street and Tib Street on a very busy junction of a very busy road so the through footfall is very high, a reason we picked the site for the bar.

"We also have a strict door policy of not permitting large groups of lads or people who are visibly intoxicated in the bar and this can sometimes prompt potential customers to feel that they have recourse to complain. Our door staff work hard to minimise this every day of the week.  

"Some of these calls will come from our management team who keep in contact with the police to ensure customer safety and comply with the terms of our licence. 

"As a bar open until 4am and 5am on Saturday nights, we work hard to ensure the safety of the large numbers of guests we welcome through our doors each month and will continue to do so throughout 2012."

It's a similar situation in the village, acoording to Tracey Walsh, licensee at New York New York, on Bloom Street - number seven in the top ten.

“We are the ones who make the call outs," she said. "We have a zero tolerance door policy and when we turn people away it can make them aggravated. That’s when trouble starts, outside the venue not inside.”

“I don’t think there is a problem with Bloom Street in particular, it’s just a unique case where you have got two taxi ranks within 100 yards of all the bars and plenty of takeaways. It’s a recipe for aggravation.”

“We are in regular contact with the police to try and improve the way we police ourselves and reduce trouble outside our venue.”

“We’ve only had one incident inside the venue in the last six months. We’ve actually been praised by police for helping to clean up Bloom Street and the increased police presence in the Village has been a success in my opinion."

AxmAxmHaydn Pope, manager of nearby AXM (number 9), told Confidential: "Bloom Street in the early hours of the morning can be very busy and troublesome with people who are nothing to do with the venues situated on that street.

"I'm pleased to say that during the whole of 2011 we had a total of three internal incidents that resulted in the police needing to be called, although of course that is still three too many. In fact we recently received a letter from the police stating that our policies and procedures have resulted in a 'significant reduction' of incidents relating to AXM.

"We operate with a security team of six on the busy nights and we also operate a membership scheme with a dedicated member of staff on the front door so that we can police and monitor who is actually coming into the venue.

"We bag search everybody and operate a fierce no tolerance policy on drugs and anti-social behaviour, and we also have a Property Patrol with a member of staff constantly roaming the venue picking up left bags, coats and phones which otherwise would invariably result in a stolen property incident report.

"A visible and larger police presence is always good, and I would absolutely welcome a car or portacabin located on Bloom Street near to or outside our venue. 

"Being seen as a landmark venue does tend to mean that people use us as a point of reference when ringing the police for issues or mobile phone thefts. My answer would be to pedestrianise it on weekend nights."

Manchester is becoming more about late bars than clubs nowadays. And the longer they stay open, the more people drink. The more people drink, the more likelihood of bother and mishaps.

And finally, before we reveal the top ten and the full list, a word about the Printworks.

As a location in itself, it had 319 calls to the police against it. Consider that it has an annual footfall of nine million and as a percentage of visitors, it's remarkably low - around six calls a week.

That said, it does attract trouble at times, as do other certain, more notorious areas of the city. Lounge 31 on Withy Grove (43 calls) had to close recently due to a mass brawl, and Revolution on Deansgate Locks - number 3 in the top ten - was in the headlines for several violent incidents last year.

You can see that the area behind the old BBC Building on Oxford Road is becoming busier - Fac251 and Joshua Brooks are both in the top ten, but they form a late-night triangle with 5th Avenue and are all very popular.

Victims of their own success?

Draw your own conclusions - but the list makes fascinating reading.

The top ten:

1. Fifth Avenue - 301

2. Tiger Tiger - 206

3. Revolution Deansgate Locks - 157

4. Fac 251 - 120

5. Yates' Wine Lodge - 116

6. Burger King, Moseley Street - 109

7. New York, New York - 106

8. Joshua Brooks - 105

9. AXM - 100

10. The HMV Ritz - 93


The following premises types were searched to provide the information - cafe/restaurant, Chinese restaurant, food industry, Indian restaurant, Italian restaurant, nightclub, other food/drink/catering, public house.

Premises have been displayed using the name of the establishment as given in the incident field and the street on which it is located, to allow distinction between chains.

Without reviewing each individual incident, it is not possible to determine if any police resources were allocated to the scene or if the incident was merely recorded and/or information/advice given over the telephone.

The A1 city centre neighbourhood has been used. The data covers the period January 1, 2011 to December 22, 2011.

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

HeadjackJanuary 30th 2012.

Interesting. I don't think there are any real surprises in the top 10. I am mildly surprised Fifth Av is top and by the distance that it is given it's predominantly a student venue (I assume the article meant a late-night triangle with Fifth Av rather than 42nd Street?). I would have thought Printworks / Portland Street / Piccadilly Gardens much more likely contenders.

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialJanuary 30th 2012.

We meant 5th Ave, sorry for the error.

Pete RansomJanuary 30th 2012.

This is a very well balanced piece that does a lot to explain both sides of the figures. Just as well that it does as I'm very surprised that Joshua Brooks makes it on to the list given its size.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGJanuary 30th 2012.

Yes, great article, nice one!

Chris NottinghamJanuary 30th 2012.

4 at the Sir Ralph Abercrombie.... thats next door to a police station isn't it? Handy.

Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on January 30th 2012.
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2012.

How embarrassing for the Village to have such damning statistics showing it up like this, though it only proves what so many in the gay community have felt for so long, that, particularly that end of Canal Street/Bloom Street is a virtual no go area these days.

A terrible shame and something needs to be done by licensees to clean up their act and stop appealing to the lowest of the low.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Pete RansomJanuary 31st 2012.

There's nothing wrong with that end of Canal Street now. G-A-Y's introduction last year has done an awful lot to remove the problems from that area, though I agree there were substantial issues when Spirit was still open and attracting a rather unsavoury crowd.

Bloom Street has its moments but I guess having two taxi ranks and four takeaways doesn't help too much.

Overall my feeling is that the Village has made quite a lot of progress in the past year with several new premises opening with distinct identities. However, the likes of Crunch, Manto, etc, could still do a lot more to stop the bargain basement Blackpool feel to the street on a weekend.

Ben - MiddletonJanuary 30th 2012.

what will scew the figures is people calling up to report an issue say some guys fighting.

The Police will ask for a nearby location to help them find the issue, if its someone who is not offay with road names they may just say opposite Fifth Avenue etc and therefore its added to the list for 5th Ave, when in fact it could be absolutely nothing to do with Fifth Ave but happens to be near there.
There arent that many places to name on that block, however say a fight starts on Deansgate the caller may give location of Living Room, Label, Moon Under Water etc etc so less attributed to each bar.

alliwantiscakeandloveJanuary 30th 2012.

Checked the pdf - Printworks got 315 visits, making it number 1.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2012.

but the printworks is a area not a venue so not number one.

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2012.

"but the printworks is a area not a venue so not number one." yes but in light of all the mitigating factors of what these stats mean (e.g. fights not starting in club), surely it's more important that people reading the article know which areas are trouble spots rather than individual clubs

EditorialJanuary 31st 2012.

Just as last year, we treated the Printworks as an entity outside the list, simply because it is so big, has so many visitors and can be used to refer to a number of places inside and out.

This story is about individual venues. We think that's fairer.

Kevin PeelJanuary 30th 2012.

This is absolutely fascinating. You rightly point out the caveats to the information, but it's no coincidence that many of these are also the venues I receive the most complaints about as a councillor. I and my ward colleague Joan Davies are working with residents, the police and the council's environmental health department to identify trouble spots and take action.

David Lawrenson shared this on Facebook on January 30th 2012.
Jon GrievesJanuary 30th 2012.

That is peculiar. Being the owner of Choice we have never had any Callout to the police so they may be including alarm call outs in these numbers.

Dave MartinJanuary 30th 2012.

Not sure what these raw figures are really telling... so many caveats, understandably. When people are calling the police for some reason, outside the bar in question, they're going to look for a local landmark, aren't they?

MaxJanuary 30th 2012.

Really surprised that 5th ave is number 1. I used to go quite a bit and I've never known any trouble to kick off, the bouncers are generally okay as well.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 31st 2012.

are you kidding me? I've known bouncers there in my day beat up someone they don't like the look of!!

grangeJanuary 31st 2012.

Just avoid The Printworks and Peter St , that used to be the advice.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jasper JillJanuary 31st 2012.

It used to be but you clearly don't come into Manchester often. There's nothing on Peter Street at the moment aside from a for sale Bar 38.

AnonymousJanuary 31st 2012.

Interesting read, but I am a little skeptical on how representative the figures are as thee figures only document call-outs.
Is there any data available on incidents that the police were present at or nearby? I would assume that city-centre patrols and police attending a nearby incident on foot would bump up the more central venues.

Paul RubbishJanuary 31st 2012.

These figures are a joke they are none representative of the true facts, if a venue is closed and there is an incident nearby and the caller uses the venue name they get a call logged against them ???? fifth avenue 301 call outs from only 216 nights open how can this be right surly gmp licencing unit would have done their job and closed them down.
Just over the last weekend 2 venues received closure orders, a new club on whitworth street Club HD, for opening with no cctv, and K2 on George Street for a stabbing offence, the truth of the matter is GMP licencing unit closed Club HD and did police the dispersal of the crowd and 7 men went across town and stabbed a man at k2 after rushing the door.
My question is who is to blame for the incident at K2 ??? how can a venue be held responsible for an incident like this when the offender was attracted to the city centre by a different venue/promoter ???
Also looking at the stats it works like this, small independent venues get a lot more police attention due to the fact they cannot afford the legal action that is required, only 2 weeks ago there was an incident at Revolution Deansgate Locks where a glass bottle was used but it was not closed down, how is this a fair representation of the police when k2 was closed, small independent venue being railroaded by gmp licencing unit again.

Rachel WiseFebruary 1st 2012.

In fairness it was the second stabbing incident at K2.

AnonymousFebruary 1st 2012.

In truth small venues tend not to call the police because they don't want to appear on these police lists,so in effect publishing them will cause venues not to call the police as a result next year the figures will be lower

Phil BurkeFebruary 7th 2012.

Response to Manchester Confidential Article:

The Village Business Association and its members work hard to provide a safe and enjoyable night out in Manchester’s Gay Village.

The Association meets regularly with GMP and other agencies across the city centre to ensure information is shared and that venues and their staff are aware of criminal activity and procedures to combat it.

While the figures are unfortunate and that police incidents in the area are something we are all working together to reduce, these figures unfairly portray the Village and venues within it, in a negative light.

The high number of recorded incidents in Bloom St should not be reflective of the venues situated here or of the Village as a whole.

There is no other area in the city centre where you will get three taxi ranks, a cluster of late night venues and a string of takeaways which regrettably, will cause reported incidents to be recorded against venues in that proximity.

If you were to compare these figures with recorded incidents inside a said venue, you would have a real set of statistics which is true and reflective.

Andrew Stokes
Chair VBA

The Pub & Club Network would like to clearly state that this list portrays an unfair and very skewed view of the city centre and it's venues.

Even taken at face value the amount of calls in relation to the amount of visitors to the city centre venues as a whole is a minute fraction, but furthermore the vast majority of these calls would have been for lost or stolen mobile phones, domestic arguments, lost articles or people taking umbrage at being refused entry to a venue.

All of our members work pro actively and constantly with the police to ensure that the night time economy in Manchester is a vibrant but very safe environment for millions of people to enjoy year after year. And it is worth noting that it is this same night time economy that brings billions of pounds into the city annually, employs tens of thousands of local people and pays a huge amount of money to both the local council and to the national exchequer.

Manchester City Centre remains a very safe and enjoyable night out for all, but of course we continue to encourage all our customers to use some common sense and not put themselves at unnecessary risk.

Remember that with the most legislated Licensed industry in Europe being inside the venues is actually far safer than being on the streets outside them.

Phil Burke Press
Publicity Spokesman Pub & Club Network.

Rachael TurnerFebruary 7th 2012.

Fifth Avenue really need to sort it out. The number of scream-to-the-top-of-your-lungs dickheads who come out of there night upon night, pissed out of their eyeballs is ridiculous. Nothing wrong with having a drink, but don't be an antisocial cock about it, oh Fifth Avenue goers. And Fifth Avenue aren't going to do a thing about it because less pissed people means less income.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2012.

The Gay village has just become a sad cash cow, a tacky mini Blackpool full of rip off ethnic taxi drivers and fast food clip joints which helps it attract a less desirable crowd. As a female i dont feel safe there as it fails to keep riff raff out how can it not? You can't stop idiots passing through drunk? Generally the city centre needs a standard police presence on horseback from 10-5am as there is in Liverpool where i felt much safer on a night out! Here by contrast, there is just no monitoring anywhere until something actually happens, its not a great policing policy is it? Costs the force more in the long run too! Its like we are left to fend for ourselves, i mean lets face it there are some nasty people in this city who seriously think they are beyond the law, this needs to be kept in check, women have been raped in the centre only recently, taxi drivers regularly go unchecked swapping licences, gangs of asian lads cruise the city at all hours ready to pick off lone drunken women....its become a free for all from where im sitting. You only have to read the papers that back this up. Im surprised theres not more crime to be honest. Thats why i dont venture in much these days, oh and the parking charges dont help! Its become an absolutely classless and vulgar city at night, maybe a reflection on the totalitarian pantomime of a council who are happy to let it happen. We are not all labour voting ass kissing chavs who want to let it carry on! Im surprised "Mr Manchester" himself Pat Karney hasnt been on a crusade to clear the city of intimidating chavs who seem to descend on the city each weekend. Maybe he should?

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