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Angus council bosses tell Police Scotland to ‘get their act together’

DeVitos nightclub in Arbroath.
DeVitos nightclub in Arbroath.

Angus council bosses have rounded on police officers for submitting crucial paperwork almost five months late.

The criticism came as Arbroath nightclub DeVitos was granted an extension to its opening hours after Police Scotland’s letter of objection was thrown out.

The deadline for objections was January 11 but the decision was only made this week after the meeting was first adjourned and then delayed due to the Covid-19 crisis.

During an online session, the committee’s Conservative convener Craig Fotheringham blasted the police for their “ridiculous” approach.

He said: “I’m not happy. This should have been in by January 11 and you didn’t put it in. Then we set a hearing for February 2020 and you didn’t put it in and it’s happening too often.

“I’m not going to accept this. Your people need to get their act together.”

The Arbroath nightclub was granted permission to extend its opening hours from midnight to 2am on weekdays and from 2am to 2.30am on the weekends.

Councillor Craig Fotheringham

Janet Hood, DeVito’s agent, said the police approach was “particularly confused.”

“They refer to a number of unspecified incidents, which I am unable to answer and I would be surprised if my client was able to answer them as we do not know what they are,” she said.

“This objection is farcical and I would like you to dismiss it please.”

Council leader David Fairweather seconded Mr Fotheringham’s motion to throw out Police Scotland’s objection.

The independent councillor said: “The police have had time and this continues to happen. I think we refuse to see the objection. There is a continued lateness of objections from Police Scotland.”

PC Kirsteen Chalmers, from Police Scotland, told the committee: “I certainly take on board your concerns and objections and I will pass that on to the rest of the licensing team and other divisional command.

“I can only apologise for the lateness of this submission.”

She said local officers had no objections when the nightclub first made an application in December 2019, but they had subsequently “built a picture” with “new information” concerning them.

SNP councillor Alex King said he had seen the content of an as-yet unpublished police report regarding trouble linked to licensed premises in the town.

He said allowing nightclubs to remain open until 2.30am was “crossing a line in the sand” that would lead to further problems with anti-social behaviour in the county.

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