A closure order has been imposed on a Macclesfield pub in response to persistent unacceptable behaviour both inside and outside the premises.
Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire East Council’s licensing team have received numerous complaints regarding the Prince Albert public house in Newton Street since the country came out of lockdown and pubs were allowed to reopen at the beginning of July.
There have also been reports of lock-ins and drug dealing taking place at the premises and of the pub not adhering to the current Covid-19 closing time regulations.
The Macclesfield Beat Team and the council have been working together to address the concerns of local residents.
With meetings with the pub’s landlord having failed to lead to a significant improvement in behaviour at the Prince Albert, a temporary closure order was imposed on the premises on Monday 19 October.
Then on Tuesday 27 October Crewe Magistrates’ Court ruled that the pub should remain closed for up to eight weeks.
The closure order was imposed under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Police Constable Matthew Bassirat, who applied for the closure order on behalf of Macclesfield Beat Team, said: “The behaviour of people inside and outside the pub has caused those living in nearby properties significant alarm, harassment and distress.
“They should not have to put up with things like fighting and excessive noise late at night.
“As well as investigating reports regarding people’s behaviour at the pub, we have tried to work with the landlord since August to address the wider issue of the premises being the source of widespread misery.
“Our efforts in collaboration with Cheshire East Council have not had the desired effect and I am pleased that a closure order has now been secured.
“It shows that we listen to the concerns of the local community and take action when necessary. I hope that other pubs and business take note of this.
“I have no doubt that the closure order is the right result for the community and that it will have a positive impact on the area.
“The order makes it illegal for anyone to be at the pub for up to eight weeks.
“If anyone enters the pub during that time they will be committing an offence and can be arrested.
“We will conduct regular checks of the premises whilst the order is in place to ensure that it is not breached and we’ll also continue to work closely with local residents and the council.”
Cllr Mick Warren, cabinet member for communities at Cheshire East Council, added: “I regret that this type of enforcement action was needed, but residents in Cheshire East can be assured that the council is working closely with the police to help prevent anti-social behaviour such as this, which impacts on local communities.
“It was without doubt the right course of action to close the premises and it gives the local community peace of mind to know that the council, together with the police, are protecting them.
“Naturally we are keen to work with licensed premises to avoid situations like this happening again in the future.”
If anyone is found to have breached a closure order they are liable to be arrested and face up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “This closure order shows that local policing teams will continue to use the full remit of the law to combat persistent unacceptable behaviour, whether it stems from a residential or a business premises.
“I hope that this result provides reassurance to the local community and serves as a warning to those who have a significant detrimental impact on the quality of life of local residents through illegal and anti-social behaviour.”