Lincolnshire Police officers, student leaders and businesses have reacted furiously to Morrisons’ plans to sell alcohol at its petrol station 24 hours a day.
The supermarket chain has applied to City of Lincoln Council to allow its petrol station off Tritton Road to stay open 24 hours every day, and to be able to sell alcohol to customers at all times.
In its application, Morrisons said that the premises are responsibly managed and supervised, and that the licence holder undertakes ongoing risk assessments to comply with health and safety legislation.
However, Lincolnshire Police have criticised the proposal, saying it could lead to an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour.
PC Laura Magson said: “Lincolnshire Police believe that the grant of this licence would have a negative impact on the licensing objectives – namely the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance.
This is irresponsible retailing and indicates a disregard towards those who are working towards educating young persons as to the dangers and risks associated with the consumption of alcohol.
“Students are deemed to be a vulnerable proportion of the city’s population and a great deal of effort is undertaken to promote responsible drinking.”
Students fearful of being blamed for a potential rise in loutish and anti-social behaviour have also hit out at the plans.
Sammi Storey, President of the University of Lincoln’s Students’ Union, said: “We absolutely feel that the proposed licensing is a threat to student welfare on the whole and is not in line with our values, nor the importance of protecting young people, nor with a commitment which we feel all people in the city of Lincoln should share: that we all have a responsibility to support, care for, respect and value each other in all that we do.
As a team of elected student leaders we must also consider that students have an unfair and unfounded reputation for causing unrest in the city; we feel it would be unfair to potentially open the door to criticising students further regarding this issue, especially when the likelihood is that, regardless of whether or not students are to blame, the spotlight will fall on them.
Michael Hayes-Crowley, of APS Properties, which owns student accommodation in the area, added: “If this application was to go forward we believe it would pull more people towards the area, possibly causing more anti-social behaviour and more criminal damage at our expense.”
Councillors on the licensing sub-committee will consider the application at a meeting on August 3.