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The Village Looks Set To Be EMRO'ed

Early Morning Restriction Order an attempt to tackle alcohol related crime

Written by . Published on July 24th 2013.

The Village Looks Set To Be EMRO'ed

THE council is attempting to tackle boozed-up crime in the city by enforcing an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) across late night alcohol-related crime hot spots.

The Village remains the highest ranked out of 67 North Manchester districts for instances of theft and assault. Twice as high as the second ranking district of Arndale and King Street.

Primarily the move is to target problems in the city’s Gay Village, which had 1,316 individual police call-outs in 2012, compared with 675 at the Printworks and 527 on Deansgate Locks.

If the move is successful however, there’s nothing to stop the council enforcing EMROs across other areas of the city.

Few too manyFew too many. A typical scene from drunken Britain. 

But what exactly is an EMRO?

The EMRO is an uncommenced power in the Licensing Act of 2003 that enables local authorities to halt alcohol sales in the whole or part of an area of nightlife for any specified period between midnight and 6am.

In short, the council could shut down all venues in an area where they see fit, regardless of current individual licensing hours.

Haydn Pope, Chair of Manchester’s Pub and Club Network and MD of Village club AXM is livid, recently saying: “The council seem very keen to lay the blame for any and all issues on the premises and venues directly.

“Several years ago all the venues within the Village tackled and tasked the council to assist us in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour by clamping down and reducing the huge plethora of takeaway and taxi firms that operate on and around Bloom Street.

A more serene Canal StreetA more serene Canal Street

“The venues also asked for further CCTV coverage and lighting on the streets and blind spots within the area, so as to dramatically reduce the potential for violent crime, drug dealing and hugger-muggers.

“And has the council, who state how very concerned they are about the area, implemented or acted upon any of the above? Nope, not one.”

In recent years, the increase in late night licences and cheap drink offers around the Village has acted as a magnet for drinkers vacating other areas of the city. Twenty-one venues within the Village are currently licensed to remain open beyond 4am, with nine venues able to stay open beyond 7am.

This congregation of revellers into the area, most of whom have already had a fair amount to drink, has in turn lead to issues relating to alcohol-induced violence and crime.

A Community Scrutiny Committee report stated that although the area has seen a decrease in all recorded crime of 15.4 per cent between 2011/12 and 2012/13, this fell in line with similar decreases in crime-rates across the city centre.

The Village remains the highest ranked out of 67 North Manchester districts for instances of theft and assault. Twice as high as the second ranking district of Arndale and King Street - which are retail areas.

Manchester Police carsGMP cars

The density of violent offences in the area was 1,422 crimes per square km during 2012/13, the next highest being Piccadilly Gardens with a rate of 913 crimes per square km.

The committee concludes that whilst an influx of hen and stag parties have certainly had an impact, ‘the more significant issue is the concentration of late night premises which provide alcohol for people leaving other parts of the city centre after they have closed.’

More booze available later equals more crime. 

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment, said: "Greater Manchester Police have asked us to consider introducing an Early Morning Restriction Order in the Gay Village which, if introduced, would mean licensed premises would not be able to serve alcohol after a designated time.

"We have asked the police to provide detailed evidence to demonstrate whether an EMRO is necessary, before we consider how to proceed. Should an EMRO be proposed, we would carry out a formal consultation with licensees and members of the public before any final decision was taken.

"However, in the meantime, we welcome any views on this from members of the city centre's bar and club trade and from the public."

But couldn’t the enforcement of an EMRO cause yet more problems?

A blanket kick-out time would force everyone out on to the street at the same time, inciting trouble rather than quelling it. And wouldn’t an area specific EMRO just displace the problem? Moving the troublemakers on elsewhere.

Quite clearly something needs to be done. The pinching and punching just wont do. So what is the solution?

We all know more feet on the beat is not economically viable. So maybe a marauding gang of vigilantes, or even a Charles Bronson type character from the Death Wish films, patrolling the streets slaying would-be crims is an option?

Seriously though, an EMRO is only one route. There is another called a a Late Night Levy (a tax on late night operators in relation to the extra strain on public services). This no doubt would go down like a brick sandwich. And given the implications for the economy a move we imagine the council would not dare to touch with a bargepole the length of Beetham Tower.

But an EMRO is not by any means an instant fix.

Perhaps the aggressively competitive nature of the area needs to be addressed. Given many Village venues compete with each other by offering discounted drinks - there are double spirits for under £2 in some places - maybe they're asking for it?

Follow David Blake on twitter

You can sign a petition to halt the EMRO here.

Discuss the issue on the 'Should the Gay Village have an EMRO' facebook group

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

Mark RichardsonJuly 24th 2013.

problem is trains close at 11 and trams shortly after . perhaps one an hour through the night would allow people to stagger their exits away throughout the night .

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SmittyJuly 25th 2013.

I often stagger to my exit on a night out. I think I'm part of the problem...

Charlie ButterworthJuly 26th 2013.

I often think a night out without a stagger to my exit is a night wasted. Of course first there should be lots of high-minded debate, but you do look for a regression into farce and maybe even tragedy before grabbing the first likely taxi home.

Adam PrinceJuly 24th 2013.

I cannot say the amount of debates I've had about this on the City Centre Voice on Facebook for the Labour City Centre Ward. So many ideas, but I worry yet again becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. They cheap alcohol and cultural vacuum is the main concern. Up the drink prices and make the establishments put back into community development. I also feel a degree of implicit homophobia and self-fulfilling prophecy. Pat Karney is glad to be the 'spokesperson' of everything city centre but has kept out of this one? The Council is being lazy, spouting their usual rhetoric, "we are listening", but knock back all ideas, excuse themselves and seem determined to go ahead despite the objections to the EMRO. See all the comment on the MEN story. Our Council yet again seems unable to listen or communicate effectively. Where are genuine consultations online rather than giving busy people the options to sit in meetings where those who shout the loudest win, where businesses dominate proceedings and the Council allows yet more homogenisation / denigration of the LGBT community? Pathetic.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Poster BoyJuly 24th 2013.

Oh dear.

Adam PrinceJuly 24th 2013.

Oh hey. Much love to my cyber stalker. We must meet up sometime. I am sure we'd get along famously! Nice to know you're always watching out for me somewhere.

Adam PrinceJuly 24th 2013.

Anyway. So everything ends at three am. And all kicked out. Fights start then. People drink even faster. And no difference whatsoever. Some strategy.

SmittyJuly 25th 2013.

There's a feisty little Facebook group debating this issue. Join in at www.facebook.com/…/…

JoanJuly 25th 2013.

No decision has been made. Councillor Nigel Murphy's comments in the three paragraphs above the picture of the girls are worth a reread. He makes it clear: the police have asked the council to consider an EMRO, so the council is considering it and seeking evidence before deciding whether this might be a proposal for consultation.

AnonymousJuly 25th 2013.

Maybe the Print Works should open later

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 25th 2013.

It would completely remove the problem from the Village

AnonymousJuly 25th 2013.

The problem is that the Village is a hub for takeaways and taxis when everywhere else in town closes, because there's a high concentration of takeaways and minicab offices - who wants to be ripped off by a black cab. The gay community are being punished for the actions of the hordes of people who make a beeline for that area. Thanks Councillor Kev, you're really making tracks on making Manchester akin to Doncaster circa 1982.

AnonymousJuly 25th 2013.

A simple question: isn't it illegal to serve people alcohol if they're drunk? If so, how do they get into such a state? There are good and bad businesses in the village. The problem started 20 years ago when they realised there are only so many LGBT people and not nearly enough to generate the kind of large profits that the more grasping and unprincipled business owners wanted.

Dom77July 25th 2013.

I hate to say it in the days of supposed equality but I'm all for stricter door policies in the village - it should be about the quality of clientele and not the quantity. I don't see why a reasonably well behaved community should be penalised for the behaviour of the few that venture in looking for food/taxi's/late night drinking.

AnonymousJuly 26th 2013.

Is that picture of the drunk dolly birds even in Manchester? Doesn't look like it. If it isn't then why are you using it?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
jenfaJuly 29th 2013.

Imagine you scrolled through an article to see a photo of yourself drunk with "classy" written under it. that could be a deterrent for drunken behaviour, maybe the council should consider this? Ad vans, not just with faces of criminals but "classsy" drunks.

Classy?July 29th 2013.

Would that picture have been used if it were 2 pissed guys and one fairly averagely jolly bloke? Nice gender bias there. And I don't recognise that location from The Village so I'd be interested to know where it is and, if it's not The Village, what the point of posting it was other than to show that some women shovel McDonalds down their faces after a night out just like some men do.

Adam PrinceJuly 26th 2013.

My primary idea: by increasing the revenue of alcohol prices, there should be an enforcement to truly invest back into the village community initiatives. If premises object, their licenses should be taken away as they reveal no community interest or investment back into the cultural improvement and safety of the village. Increasing the prices would also lead to less crime. It should be that simple. Working with rather than against. The increase in community cohesion is vital else this will end up one of the most troubled area's in the city and face many insidious influences. As said before in many places: My suggestions: Perhaps good ideas would be a Gay History Museum with cafe and culture space, the LGBT history of Manchester, of national history and the world, e.g. old Jongleurs & Mongolian BBQ are empty! Surely LGF could finance that and give the tourists something and respect the culture of Manchester more directly in ways that don't mean having to engage with the organisation directly (as for many the LGF is a turn off and something they do not wish to engage with). There needs to be more choices than one dominant organisation. Also a Art Gallery/ Arts Centre, anything adding culture, not just greedy bar owners. Look at how successful events are in Sackville Park or the LadyBoys of Bangkok are. A performance premises with circus acts, fun, cabarets, comedy, live music, encouraging bands or music pioneers from the village ethos, gay theatre (specifically) - some added element of not just getting munted and mashed! Then we need regular markets, more community events actually daring to steer away from a completely alcohol focus. The village needs to shut down so many cheap joints, cheap alcohol, cheap takeaways. Limit such licences! Enforce some healthy food places. Limit the presence of new non-related homelessness and drug charities and probation services in the area (and religious ones?) We also need drug testing kits to be donated as the drugs are dirty as hell in the village, pills even containing crystal meth traces. Drugs are mixed with crap and pure ecstasy would be so less damaging to the party people (and get's into that debate of drugs as recreational users and needing to keep people safe). Plus growing up in a violent army town, kicking people out of pubs meant they fought at 11pm. Kick em out at three they'll fight then! Where's the police anyway? And why stigmatize our area, when it will just disperse a problem. People are drunk by the afternoon and I am quite sure crime doesn't exist only between 3am - 9am!!!! The failure's are much greater than 3am licenses and so much violence infiltrates before then. Pat Karney should spend less time 'making rides' and taking photo opportunities and MCC should have a far more comprehensive drive towards making the village cultural. It also looks like the Council is singling out the Village which is extremely damaging. The investment in the area needs to be better. Horrible Origin eye sore could surely find a new investor be a park, or temporarily (if the foundations are worked over). Perhaps this could be a covered "glass" outside area for the rain and the seasons of Manchester! Now the MMU building is empty, plus poor tortured London Road Fire Station makes for a dejected area. There need to be imagination and stepping away from short term greed, bar profits, getting people ratchet drunk and messed up. Variation is the spice of life, and think the village could be saved with some obvious ideas! Use some imagination! Please!!!!!

Reader HubbleJuly 29th 2013.

Im a regular and tend to stay out 'late' Ive never seen ANY trouble, I must miss it out as im not hanging around the chippys and taxi ranks at the dodgy times. To penalize us few who can handle their drink and take it steady is cruel because of the 18 year old girls with their flashing bunny ears.

Claire FergusonJuly 29th 2013.

Manchester Confidential. Tut Tut! How hypocritical. 1/. You guys have no problem buttering up village venues and promoting their cheap deals if it means a quick buck in advertising for yourselves, and then a stab in the back when the s*** his the fan! Nice. 2/. Your photograph with the title 'Classy' is not taken from anywhere in the village and is therefore misleading. Poor journalism!

Sharon Gallier shared this on Facebook on July 29th 2013.
Janice HoughJuly 29th 2013.

Most of the fights and drunks are outside the gay village, mainly young aggressive idiots that can't handle their drink, the gay village have more of the older party going generation mixing in amoungst the young, they tend to keep things on an even keel. Personally I prefer to party in the village, I feel much safer. I'm a married woman with three grown up children.

Janice HoughJuly 29th 2013.

Close the venues earlier we'll have people drinking as many as they can instead of pacing themselves over a longer period, they tend to only have so much money to spend over the night anyway.

Lesley HampsonJuly 29th 2013.

Please can we have a response from the editor in relation to Claire Ferguson's comments above about Man Con's reporting.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldJuly 30th 2013.

The pictures are to illustrate a point. I will change the captions to emphasise that - maybe should have done it in the first place. But we are not the BBC and don't have 'compliance' rules. What we are trying to do is raise issues in the city that are current and/or need addressing such as the litter article we've recently put up. Or in this case the unacceptable way people behave in the Village and the possible reasons behind this.

Julia GrantJuly 29th 2013.

I cannot Believe that the police and CITY council are so short sighted. You honesty Believe that reduciendo licensing hours in the gay VILLAGE will stop all this cráp. That is puré bollox. Most incedents in the VILLAGE área occur WITHIN 100 metres of the FAST FOOD VENUES OF WHICH THERE ARE 8. And the 2 biggest prívate hire car companies in Manchester CITY centre. They are the venues that attract the dickheads from all over the CITY centre as most black cabs take the night off because of the violence all over the CITY...... And your guarenteed to get a taxi if you fall into the VILLAGE and grab a kebab or pizza and are PREPARED to wait...... Thats when the bottles start for taxis. If Manchester CITY council and the police think this will stop because you stop servinf alcohol in gay VILLAGE venues. I feel i have the right to tell you. YOU ARE CRAZY THE KNOB HEADS WILL STILL COME THE VIOLENCE WILL STILL BE THERE,,,,,,BUT YOU WILL BE HELPING TO DESTROYED THE GAY VILLAGE THE BUSINESS OWNERS AND THE GAY COMMUNITY THAT YOU SAY YOU ARE SO PROYD OF. there is a solution make the food venues and the taxi companies that operare after 2.00 am. PROVIDE security and doorman to control their áreas or restrict their reading till 2.00 am Have SEVERAL áreas that can become late night taxi racks were people can just board and go. This happens in other major cities and it works. The police then have specific áreas that they can manage and help clean up the CITY. It would be cheap ear to manage than the current méthods used by GMP. Just as a point on interest what id THE GAY VILLAGE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION doing for its MEMBERS because it looks like ABSOLUTELY nothing. Organice a march on the TOWN HALL show RICHARD LEES AND COUNCILLOR PAT KARNEY that you are not going tto let them do this. To destroy the GAY VILLAGE AND THE GAY BUSINNESES THAT EXIST.....YES SOME OF THEM NEED TO GET THEIR ACTS TOGETHER AND CLEAN UP THERE VENUES......REDUCE CHEAP DRINKS PROMOTIONS. AND KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE GAY COMMUNITY. MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL SHOULD REMEMBER WE PAY THEIR WAGES WE ELECT THEM AND WE CAN REMOVE THEM FROM POWER.........THEY SHOULD BE SUPPORTING THE GAY COMMUNITY NOT HELDING DESTROY IT. ALSO THE CITY CENTRE MANAGEMENT TEAM AND THE POLICE SHOULD COME UP WITH SOLUCTIONS FOR THIS GREAT CITY IF YOU NEED A HAND I AM AVAILABLE TO SHOW YOU HIW TO MANAGE THIS CITY PROPERLY. BECAUSE YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY IN SERIOUS NEED OF HELP. LISTEN TO THE GAY COMMUNITY.....WE HUILT THIS ÁREA WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK YOU TO MANAGE IT PROPERLY AFTER ALL YOUR MIS MANAGEMENT OVER THE LAST 10 years gas led to this appauling SITUATION.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 30th 2013.


Mary MurphyAugust 1st 2013.

Like LAZARUS from the dead Julia Grant comes screaming into Village business to add to the chaos and criticise The Village Business Association and the City Council. A real pity she did not wait to be held accountable many years ago instead of skulking out of the Village and the country several years ago immediately after a Pride weekend leaving chaos and mayhem behind her and many people pleading with council officers to please find her. Is she ready for that accountability now. I suspect not. The village has thrived during her absence and the people who really care about the Village ie those she is most critical of will continue to work together to resolve current problems. Julia grant is a great ranter but has nothing more to offer the Village. What has you running from you little business in Spain? Did your recent fly-on-the-wall TV programme alert people you don't want to face to your whereabouts? Are you going to make any announcement about your quick flit from the city all those years ago? I for one will not forget the chaos you left behind.

AnonymousJuly 30th 2013.

Pat bloody Karney....again

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2013.

who else?! Surely its not really the poisonous Mary Murphy spouting? Pat wouldnt have the balls (excuse the pun) to sign in as himself would he... one thing mcr labour are getting good at is airing dirty linen in public!! You are all doomed! Your cronyism, nepotism and incompetence is second to none i applaud you. Theyre all in it together alright!

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