THE streets outside a 24-hour Burnley bar have been described as ‘like a war zone’ with drinkers emerging ‘like zombies’ just before breakfast-time.
Police have linked nearly 40 fights, thefts and public disorder incidents with Blu Bar, in Cow Lane, and have demanded a licensing review.
Street cleaners have reported being allegedly attacked and abused, when they begin their early shifts near the premises.
And one unnamed taxi driver, in a supporting statement, said: “They walk up like zombies. We call 6am until 9am survival mode. It’s like a war zone.”
Sgt Michelle Dixon, licensing sergeant, said that generally town centre incidents had dropped over the past three years – but there had been a marked increase in Cow Lane and around Blu Bar. There has been a remarkable increase in incidents between 6am and 8am, which is attributable to these premises, as they are the only premises operating at these times,” she said.
The sergeant said that the only other 24-hour bar, Lava and Ignite, now closed, generally stopped serving around 5am.
But bosses at Blu have insisted that most of the trouble occurs outside their premises and they are paying the price as the latest opening venue in town.
Francesco Musso, the bar’s designated premises supervisor, said there had only been one assault inside the venue in the last 12 months.
He said: “As much as I appreciate the problems police have indicated, the problem lies with the licensing laws.
“The majority of fighting happens outside. Because we are the last place open, we deal with the brunt of things.”
Councillors sitting on the borough’s licensing sub-committee, which would have the power to modify or suspend the bar’s licence, will meet tomorrow to discuss the issue.