Purple Turtle in Reading granted new premises licence

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Purple Turtle in ReadingImage source, Google
Image caption,
Purple Turtle's management said it had "extensive licensing experience"

A bar which police say has been responsible for half of all serious night-time crime in a town centre has been granted permission to expand.

Purple Turtle in Reading was given a licence to serve alcohol and play music in a planned extension to its basement at a council meeting on Tuesday.

Police said the application was contrary to the council's licensing objective to reduce crime and disorder.

The club said measures were in place to make it a "friendly environment".

The Gun Street premises had already secured planning consent to extend its basement into the property next door, but required a new licence to make it part of the club.

In a document urging Reading Borough Council to refuse the application, Thames Valley Police said the club was responsible for 50.6% of serious night-time crime in the town centre between January 2014 and October 2016.

It said the actions of door staff and management had "a lot to be desired" and there were examples of the club "deliberately" failing to detain criminal suspects.

"Their behaviour has led to a number of incidents that calls into question their professionalism," the force said.

In its application, the club said its managers had "extensive licensing experience" and that staff were "well trained".

Additional CCTV would be installed and extra security staff deployed, the club added.

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