Off-licence next to March arcade would be ‘gathering point for anti-social behaviour’

AN OFF-LICENCE proposed for a site next to March’s new amusement arcade would create a “gathering point for anti-social behaviour”, according to objectors.

Police and residents fear that the store, proposed for 4 Station Road, would increase crime, fuel street drinking and disturb the peace.

Tarik Serin has applied for a premises licence which would allow him to sell alcohol from 8am-midnight every day.

The application comes almost two years after another member of the family, Mehmet Serin, won permission to transform Marcam House into Ace Electra Amusements.

But, on Wednesday, police will tell Fenland District Council’s Licensing Committee that the latest proposal offers “little or no explanation as to how the licensing objectives will be complied with”.

Sgt Dave Bax, licensing officer for Fenland, said the application showed misunderstanding of age verification schemes, made no reference to “refusal logs” and offered “very weak submissions” for preventing crime and disorder.

He said: “The premise has not demonstrated in its application how it intends to reduce crime and disorder and street drinking, with associated littering, noise and public urination.”

Most Read

Objections have also been received by Fenland District Council cabinet member Kit Owen and resident Reg Kemp, who live nearby.

Cllr Owen said: “This is an inappropriate site for such a venue, next to an amusement arcade which by its nature invariably attracts young and vulnerable people.”

Mr Kemp also posted his concerns on community website Shape Your Place.

He said: “I fear that such a licence, if granted, will result in the premises becoming a gathering point for anti-social behaviour, particularly in the evening, and will add to the policing problems regarding irresponsible drinking.”

Sgt Bax has recommended that, if the licence is granted, eight conditions are attached. These would include ceasing alcohol sales at 11pm, banning sales of singles cans or bottles and maintaining training and refusal records.

Police have also suggested that a personal licence holder should be present whenever alcohol is sold.

Sgt Bax added: “The applicant could have taken the time to consult responsible authorities before submitting an application, which in my mind does not demonstrate a willingness to work in partnership with others to promote the licensing objectives.”