Police say Wigan club put cash before safety

Police have accused bosses at a notorious Wigan boozer of 'putting profits before public safety' following a string of shocking assaults on its premises.
Jonesies BarJonesies Bar
Jonesies Bar

Officers have also accused the licensee, Jacqueline Dawson, of calamitous management errors resulting in a spike in violence at Jonesies Bar in Hindley.

There have been 10 assaults recorded at the Market Street bar in the past 10 weeks alone.

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During one attack, a thug hit a punter over the head with a metal bar, sparking a force-wide alert.

In another, a woman was hit repeatedly around the head by a crazed female reveller using her stiletto high heels as a weapon.

Incredibly, police say Jonesies staff offered no help to the blood-soaked victim - who was left with 20 stitches and is expected to be scarred for life - and no CCTV film was made available to officers.

Police have now lodged an appeal with Wigan Council’s licensing sub-committee requesting a review of Jonesies Bar’s licence.

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Officers believe action, which could include the bar being closed down, is warranted because of the shocking levels of violence being perpetrated on the premises.

They also list a lack of CCTV as a concern and say its policy of not employing bouncers and a lack of bar staff means removing drunk customers “could get messy”.

PC Rigby also says the bar is struggling financially and had relied on a diesel generator for electricity following a dispute with its utility company.

“The volume of assaults appears totally disproportionate to the size and opening hours of the premises,” said PC Clive Rigby in documents submitted to the council committee.

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“It is my belief that it can be attributed to the poor management of the premises and disregard of the licensing objectives.

“During the past 12 months, I have noticed an increase in the demand for police associated with the licensed premises, Jonesies Bar.

“Having visited the premises and spoken at length to the premises licence holder I strongly believe that it is due to the poor management, non-compliance with premises licence conditions, neglect of due diligence driven by an obvious attitude of profit before public safety.”

Police have also highlighted a number of breaches of the bar’s current licence and believe imposing extra conditions is “inappropriate as the premises licence holder already shows a disregard for the current conditions”.

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PC Rigby concludes in his submission to councillors: “Given the level of incidents, numerous breaches of licence conditions and apparent lack of regard for the licensing objectives, the only course of action open to us is to seek formal review of the licence and seek revocation of the premises licence.”

Councillors will meet next Tuesday to determine what action should be taken. The licensee will then have 21 days to appeal before any action is enforceable.

No-one was available for comment at Jonesies Bar.