Police lobby to pull Luton McDonald’s late night licence after crimewave

McDonald's on George Street

McDonald's on George Street

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Bedfordshire Police is lobbying Luton Borough Council to revoke the late night licence of McDonald’s in the town centre after a boom in violence and anti-social behaviour reports.

After an increase of reported incidents over several months, the force is pushing for the removal of the George Street store’s late night licence – allowing it to operate from 11pm to 5am.

The application will be considered by Luton Borough Council’s licencing panel on April 22.

Notable incidents of crime include a McDonald’s doorman found to have a knife in his possession after being arrested on suspicion of assault in October 15.

Another incident concerned McDonald’s doormen allegedly kicking a man after he was ejected from the store on February 21. The man was left unconscious and no first aid was given.

In their report, Beds Police state: “There has been an increase of young people congregating at the premise through the night.

“These young people hang together in groups, they are not old enough to get into other licenced premesis that sell alcohol and have a culture of hanging together in McDonald’s.”

With 21 crimes reported since October 1, the force states McDonald’s has the fourth highest crime trend in Luton town centre.

47 separate incidents – many of them anti-social behaviour related – have been reported since October 24, particularly during late night hours. The application notes violence against the person offences have gone up by 38.1% and violence with injury has increased by 61.5% at the venue since last year.

In their report to LBC, Beds Police note problems with the door staff and failures by McDonald’s to act on safety advice given, with several incidents apparently left unrecorded in the store’s logbook.

At a meeting with the company’s area manager, security manager and store manager last year, police state they encouraged them to purchase a CCTV night-net radio system. Some time later in December, one of the managers approached the police van to complain the radio still hadn’t been purchased and she didn’t feel safe without it.

It is understood the radio was purchased a week later.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We are working with the local council and police to tackle anti-social behaviour in and around our George Street restaurant.

“We worked with our SIA accredited security firm to take action against the guards involved in the situations highlighted within this report and to remove them from the restaurant.

“We are committed to ensuring the restaurant can remain a welcoming environment for our customers.”