Pubs and clubs in Angus claim they are falling victim to “flagrant misrepresentation” of the number of criminal incidents on their premises.
They say a reporting system is being used against them when it comes time to consider their licenses.
All complaints by customers to police are reported under the Inn Keeper system but licensees say police are logging minor gripes then reporting them to the authorities.
Janet Hood, a solicitor specialising in liquor licensing, said: “A licensee reporting an incident which has happened inside or outside their premises whether police were called or not are seeing it count against them.
“For instance, if staff at a nightclub see a fight break out in the street and call the police then that counts against them as a licensee.
“It appears the police want to use this information in a false manner.”
The matter came to light after nightspots such as Devito’s in Arbroath and Busby’s in Montrose were faced with multiple complaints when they sought licenses recently.
Gary Smith of Busbys said: “It was a clever use of words at best a flagrant misrepresentation of the facts at worst.”
Sergeant Iain Bethway said the recording system gave a “true reflection” of incidents outside the nightspot.
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