A SPIKE in anti-social behaviour post-lockdown has prompted police to demand a Windsor nightclub reduce its opening hours.
Owners of Labyrinth in unit 15a, Windsor Royal Station want to open the late-night venue Monday to Sunday 11pm to 3:30am the following morning, as well as serve booze, and play music, and indoor films from 11am to 3am.
They also want to extend their opening hours by one hour on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at the venue which used to host Vanilla nightclub but went into administration.
However, Thames Valley Police (TVP) requested to reduce the opening hours until 2am and asked for identification scanners for clubbers accessing the venue. These two conditions were rejected by the applicant, Epic Bars and Clubs Berkshire Ltd.
This and objections made by residents triggered a licensing sub-committee on Wednesday, October 6, prompting applicants to make their case to councillors.
Speaking at the meeting, inspector Mike Dower, neighbourhood inspector for Windsor and Maidenhead, explained the demand for the night-time economy has “increased enormously” post-lockdown and TVP are busy “every Friday and Saturday night” with crime and anti-social behaviour increasing.
He said: “The hours they are putting forward are too late. We are already seeing a massive increase in crime and disorder in that area.
“We are already seeing anti-social behaviour drifting in Bridgewater Terrace.”
Insp Dower added the opening hours are “not in keeping” with the area and “does not understand” why the ID scanners are an issue for the applicants, citing the technology helps with crime and disorder enforcement and prevention.
But Andrew Woods, solicitor for the applicant, argued their application is in line with other bars and nightclubs in Windsor town centre, citing their plans are almost identical to the nearby Atik nightclub which had its license approved a few months ago.
Mr Woods placed a deal on the table for councillors to consider, saying they will implement an ID scanner condition if their original application is approved in full with the extra conditions imposed by TVP – barring the reduction in hours.
He also withdrew the off-sales of alcohol and added a condition for the staff to clean up the rubbish on the street after the club is closed.
Cllrs will make their decision within five working days whether or not to approve the application.