Three businesses have had their opening hours reduced due to concerns over violent incidents in the area including a stabbing and large scale fights.

Premier, Bar Iguana and Favourite Chicken and Pizza, on St Mary’s Butts, have kept their licences but will now close earlier and the sale of alcohol will not be possible at any of the premises after 12.30am.

The police softened its stance at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) Licensing committee hearing on Thursday, July 16, no longer calling for the licences to be revoked but instead suggesting a dramatic reduction in hours of operation.

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While the committee agreed to reduce the hours, it has allowed the businesses to stay open and sell alcohol later than police had suggested.

Speaking about Premier and Bar Iguana, PC Simon Wheeler said: “There is an ongoing issue with the management… who are failing to do the right things.

“If we do not address what we see at this premises… there are going to be many more victims.”

St Mary’s Butts ranks number one for crime in the town centre between 11pm and 6am but the owners say the businesses are not the cause of the issues.

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Premises supervisor Kamal Saleem said: “We go above and beyond. Staff actively go out and tell people not to drink on the streets.”

He asked for leniency, saying: “We are coming off the back of a pandemic.

“Business has been crippled and we are looking for support.”

After almost two hours of deliberation in private, the sub-committee agreed the following changes to the two licences:

Favourite Chicken and Pizza

Late night refreshment: 11pm-2am (was 11pm-5am)

Opening hours: 9am-2.30am (was 9am-5.30am)

Bar Iguana

Sale of alcohol: 10am-2am (was Friday-Saturday: 10-3am + Sunday-Thursday: 10-2am)

Opening hours: 10am-2.30am (was Friday-Saturday: 10-4am + Sunday-Thursday: 10-3am)


Sale of alcohol: 7am-12am (was 7am-6.30am)

Hours open to the public: 7am-2am (was 24 hours a day)

Previously Premier was able to deliver alcohol from 7am-6.30am but deliveries of alcohol are no longer allowed under the revised licence.

Seasonal variations have also been removed from the licence for Premier and Bar Iguana, which means the businesses will not be able to open later on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and on Sunday’s before bank holidays.

The committee said the reduction in hours, alongside a raft of new conditions, is aimed at helping to ensure the businesses promote the licensing objectives, especially crime and disorder and public safety.