Former door boss calls for changes in Wigan town centre
A former door security boss has launched a wide-ranging attack on town centre policies after statistics showed anti-social behaviour surging.
Mick Lyons, who worked to keep Wigan town centre safe for many years, said those supposed to be in charge at the moment have “lost control.”
His intervention came after a Wigan Council report showed there were more alcohol-fuelled incidents of anti-social behaviour in the zone where licensing is tightly controlled between April and December 2016 than the entire 12-month period previously.
The figures also show that, despite new pubs, bars, takeaways and off-licenses in the town centre having to jump through draconian hoops to get permission to open, scores of crimes are still happening along with outbreaks of violence.
As a result Mr Lyons is now calling for widespread changes, saying police, politicians, premises owners and security companies all had cases to answer for the decline of order.
He said: “The standards on my side of things and the knowledge on the door is poor, to be honest. These guys now are on the minimum wage, compared to £11 or £12 an hour 15 years ago.
“The managers of the clubs are frightened of getting a black mark so don’t tell anybody things. In my day it was transparent, even if it caused problems, and then it was sorted and we moved forwards.
“The police seemed to move out of the town centre a few years ago because there were issues over resources.
“Years ago all-night clubs were for alternative music and people went for that, now you’ve got pubs just opening randomly with no control over them.
“Wigan used to be third for nightlife behind Manchester and Liverpool.
“Now the night time economy is taking 15 or 20 per cent of what it was 20 years ago, people are spending a fraction of what they used to in pubs and clubs, yet violence has gone up. It doesn’t make sense.
“It’s just sad to see what a mess it is now. They’ve lost control completely.”
Mr Lyons said he couldn’t see a way the situation would get better, despite the council’s attempts to halt town centre disorder.
He said: “I don’t know where it’s going to go but I can’t see it improving.
“To me it all starts with door security, people looking after your premises.
“They can have as many meetings at the town hall as they like but it’s not going to go anywhere.”