March 28, 2022 9.00 pm

Off-licences creating ‘scary no go areas’ in Scunthorpe street

People are worried about ‘intimidating groups of drinkers’

By Local Democracy Reporter

Frodingham Road residents in Scunthorpe have warned alcohol is blighting the street and creating ‘no go areas’ as another shop is granted permission to sell booze.

Viking Market, located on the corner of Smith Street, will be able to sell alcohol between 8am and 11pm, seven days a week. However, it has been told to keep the street outside clear of glass and bottles, and to check at least six times a day.

One objector presented North Lincolnshire Council’s licensing committee with a bin bag full of cans and bottles which he had gathered from the area in a passionate meeting last week. Other residents warned intimidating groups of drinkers are creating areas that people are scared to go down.

A local resident told the licensing committee: “Once people would meet and drink in pubs and clubs – now they congregate outside off-licences with alcohol. They finish their drinks, leave them on the floor, buy some more and continue.

“With the longer and warmer days, they continue into the early hours. It’s sad to say that these areas become no go zones. I wouldn’t want my children to go there.

“The police are too busy to deal with them, and members of the public risk getting attacked if they say something. The onus must be on the business owners to act responsibly and clean up after them.”

Mr Abid Khan, who collected the bag of rubbish, said: “This bag is full of bottles, litter and cans dropped by groups of drinkers that I picked up on the way here. I have three more like it outside.

“It is difficult for the council and police to understand what people in the area are going through. People were drinking loudly until half 11 on Saturday night, shouting and screaming. I don’t want to live in a jungle with no law.”

Another person who frequented Frodingham Road said: “We are fighting a losing battle to keep the area clean. There is a direct correlation between the sales of alcohol and the litter and verbal abuse that residents get.

“I have witnesses sex acts taking place outside an off licence while a group watched. This has to stop.”

Town ward Councillor Mashook Ali also objected, saying: “When you drive along Frodingham Road, it’s lovely to see shops open but groups of drinkers are disturbing the good people, children and families in the area who can’t sleep for the noise. It is attracting criminals into the area, and people are concerned.”

Humberside Police and Trading Standards had initially objected to the applicant’s request to sell alcohol from 5am until midnight. They dropped these when the owner, Mr Omar, agreed to reduce them and put in more rigorous checks such as CCTV and a Challenge 25 policy.

Mr Pascoe, representing the owner, said: “Mr Omar is an experienced operator with an unblemished enforcement record. He already owns several properties in the area.

“The irony is that his premises is one of the best looking and therefore presumably best operated on Frodingham Road. There are other places that aren’t the same quality.”

He argued that shop owners couldn’t be responsible for what customers did after they had left the premises. However, the requirements mean that Viking Market will be forced to keep the area in front of the property tidy.

A licensing officer said that other new premises were likely to face similiar restrictions in future in a bid to keep the area tidy. Frodingham Road is in a cumulative impact zone, which are used to restrict the number of licensed properties in problem areas.

The decision published by the licensing committee says: “The sub-committee was acutely aware that the premises is situated in the cumulative impact zone and the implications this application may have on local residents. Therefore, the sub-committee would like to remind the applicant of his duties as a licence holder in particular the continued requirement to ensure that the conditions attached to this licence and the licensing objectives are always adhered to.

“The applicant should also be aware that their premises licence can be reviewed at any point by any responsible authority or interested parties and may result in them being required to attend a meeting of the sub-committee”.