Body Worn Video Steering Group
Burton Mail report that Staffordshire Police have used body cameras to present evidence to the council’s Licensing Act Sub-Committee.
“Drug use, brawls, illegal lock-ins, smoking and underage drinking” are just some of the claims that have been made against The Byrkley Arms in a bid to strip the owner of his licence. Over the past two years, Staffordshire Police have been called to the pub on a number of occasions – more than once after the pub legally should have closed – and have even had to use CS gas to once break up a brawl.
The video evidence that helped revoke the licence was captured by a sergeant equipped with a body camera in December 2013. The high quality footage shows police officers attending the severely overcrowded pub, attempting to disband large groups of young drunk people.
Nicky Bills, Licensing officer for Staffordshire Police, described the ‘catastrophic chain of events’ that night at the pub: “I was on duty that night. I can only describe the scene as if a saloon bar fight had taken place – there was glass all over the bar.
“Fifteen police constables were deployed to that pub. Per hour that is £262 to the taxpayer. They were there from 11pm until 2pm at a cost of more than £800 to the taxpayer, not including time in custody.”
After viewing the evidence, Councillor David Leese was confident that the right decision was to revoke the licence from the owner. He said: “We have no confidence that new conditions would have a positive effect. We do not believe the licence conditions would be adhered to.”