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Derby bar The Hairy Dog wins battle to allow under 18s in for live events

today6 September 2022 1

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Plans to allow under 18s at a Derby city centre pub and music venue until midnight have been allowed to go ahead despite initial fears from police that children could be harmed. It means that those aged 16 or 17 can attend live events at The Hairy Dog music venue in Becket Street while accompanied by an adult but will have to leave at midnight, should an event finish after that time.

Bosses of the venue called on Derby City Council for permission to vary its premise licence which would allow the venue to host “the occasional wrestling and/or boxing event”. The owner of the venue also wanted to change existing conditions which would allow children/under 18s to watch such events, including appropriate live music events, and be at the venue until midnight.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, manager of the Hairy Dog Nick May said the venue had “zero plans” on putting on boxing events but wanted permission so youths aged 16 plus could attend live music events deemed suitable for them, accompanied by an adult.”

But the plans became of concern for Derbyshire police chiefs. In a letter to the council ahead of a scheduled licencing meeting held in August, the police stated worries about the number of incidents of involving violence at the bar and surrounding area, especially at weekends.

The letter said: “The location of the premises is Beckett Street……and is a prominent area of the city night time economy. In the immediate surrounding area there are numerous other licenced premises which means the area is very busy particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings with people wishing to enjoy the night time economy.

“Unfortunately, this leads to multiple incidents of crime and disorder taking place which are very often alcohol-fuelled, leading to calls for service for the police but also the ambulance service and street pastors. Encouraging under 18’s into the night time economy, where they are likely to be subjected to such incidents does not seem responsible and I have grave concerns that granting this variation would increase the possibility that children would come to harm.”

But it has been confirmed that Derby City Council has granted The Hairy Dog permission to vary its premise licence, on the basis that certain conditions are met. A spokesperson for Derby City Council said: “During the meeting, the applicant and their legal representative presented voluntary additional conditions in regard to the application to have children on the premises after 8pm.

“These included not allowing anyone under the age of 18 to attend a wrestling event after 8pm and anyone aged 16 and 17 will only be allowed on the premises after 8pm if they are attending a live music event and are accompanied by an adult. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed on the premises after midnight.

“There is a statutory presumption that applications will be granted unless there are no suitable conditions that can be imposed to address any relevant representations made. The application to vary the premises licence was granted by the Licensing Committee on the basis that the conditions offered by the applicant satisfactorily addressed the objections of the police.”

A statement on The Hairy Dog Facebook page said: “We are pleased to announce that we have been granted the variation to our licence allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to attend live events while accompanied by an adult. All attendees of this age group will be required to show ID ensuring they are over the age of 16, and will also be subject to a curfew of 00:00AM, though almost all events will be finished long before this time.

“We would like to thank Derby City Council for accepting this variation and believe this is a great step forward for youth engagement with live music and arts culture within the city of Derby.”

Derbyshire police declined to comment on the decision made. A spokesperson for Derbyshire police said: “We won’t be making any further comment in relation to the licence application.”

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