Bar trouble: South Yorks Police called out 11,000 times to tackle pub disorder

Improving: Police officers were called to The Leadmill the most.
Improving: Police officers were called to The Leadmill the most.
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POLICE have been called out to deal with trouble at South Yorkshire’s pubs and clubs more than 11,000 times in just three years.

Officers across the county were called out on average 10 times a night new figures show - to deal with everything from knife crimes and drug dealing to assaults, rape, overdoses and even bomb threats.

The numbers, obtained by The Star, show officers were called to The Leadmill, Leadmill Road, Sheffield, the most, with 248 call-outs out of the 11,096 received over the last three years - including 125 in 2009 alone.

The second most frequently-visited venue was The Bankers Draft, Market Place, Sheffield, with 204 calls, followed by fellow city centre venues The Casbah, Wellington Street, with 91 calls, and Walkabout, Carver Street, with 89.

Sgt Darren Nugent, of South Yorkshire Police’s city centre police neighbourhood team, said: “Things are improving and we are now working closer than ever with pubs and clubs to make South Yorkshire even safer.”

A number of suburban pubs also received multiple visits from officers in the period.

The Blue Bell Inn, Hackenthorpe - which closed at the end of last year, and is now up for sale - was among the highest with 99 call-outs.

The Norton, Norton, received 95 visits over the three years, while The Angel, Grenoside, saw officers called 91 times.

But the figures for the county have fallen 18 per cent over the three years, with 4,064 call-outs between November 19, 2008, and November 18, 2009, 3,594 between the same dates for 2009/10 and 3,438 for 2010/11.

A new approach, which sees police and nightclub bosses working closely together, has also helped cut violent crime in Sheffield city centre by 24 per cent over the last two years.

But it was violence, anti-social behaviour and the effects of alcohol and drugs which made up the majority of reasons for police being called.

There were 3,314 calls for assistance due to fighting or rowdy, threatening, drunken and other anti-social behaviour, and a further 110 for knife and gun crime.

The Leadmill topped the list for violence, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour with 113 related call-outs, followed by The Bankers Draft with 74, The Casbah with 57, and Babylon, Carver Street, with 41.

The Leadmill was also the most frequent caller for assistance with drug offences, with 16 call-outs out of a total of 217 received by police over the three years..

Second was The Huntsman, Barnsley Road, Sheffield, with 14 and third was Walkabout with 12.

However, The Leadmill said it was not concerned to be top of the league table for call-outs.

Rupert Dell, general manager of the venue, which has a capacity of more than 1,000 and which has slashed the number of call-outs from 125 in 2009 to just 60 in 2011, said: “I’m not concerned by the figures - we’re a big and very busy club.

“We talk to police on a regular basis and they are very pleased with us.”

Eddie Gershon, spokesman for pub chain JD Wetherspoon, which runs The Bankers Draft, said: “Our aim is to reduce the number of call-outs.

“We have a good relationship with the police and have well-trained staff.

“We believe all these factors enable the pub to operate safely.”

The figures also show police were called out to tackle 40 suicidal individuals, 12 arsons, nine rapes, nine prowlers, eight vicious dogs and three bomb threats during the three years.

And in August 2011, the data shows police were called to the Dore & Totley Golf Club after a report of badger baiting.

Sgt Nugent said the figures took into account calls for assistance via 999 or 101 only, ignoring incidents where city centre officers may have been on patrol and responded without the need for an emergency call.