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Pub warned it could lose license after reports of violence and breaches of pandemic rules

The landlady of a popular pub near Bury has been warned she could lose its license following reports of violence, drug incidents, disturbances and arguments and multiple breaches of Covid pandemic rules.

Police say they have received 35 incidents at the Roebuck Inn on Burnley Road East in Rossendale since early 2020. It also has the second-highest recorded number of incidents in the area during the past year.

Licensee Marie Burke now faces a premises license review by Rossendale Council’s Licensing Committee on April 26. Police say they have received 35 incidents at the pub since early 2020. Ms Burke has held the premises license and been named as the designated premises supervisor since February 2020 , according to licensing committee documents.

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Lancs Live reports that the landlady faces a review over a series of reported incidents over a two-year period. Councilors are being asked to consider licensing needs such as crime prevention, public safety, preventing nuisance and protecting children.

An agenda for the review states: “Last month, an application to review the premises license was made by the Environmental Health department. The application is made on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder and the prevention of public nuisance licensing objectives.



The Roebuck Inn on Burnley Road East in Rossendale

Videos, letters and police logs of incoming telephone calls and visits by officers to the pub in 2020 and 2021 have been sent to the Licensing Committee. Lancashire Police statements include officer visits in July, August and December of 2020 amid Covid restrictions including social distancing and restrictions on gatherings.

In July 2022, a police visit reported the premises were ‘absolutely heaving on arrival’. The statement added: “Absolutely no control from licensee. Music far too loud and no social distancing.”

Then on New Years’ Eve, December 31, 2020, police again visited the pub following reports that people were inside. The police statement says Ms Burke had relatives there. She said they had visited her previously at Christmas and she thought it was acceptable for them to visit again. But Christmas was a special exception that year, the police told her.

A police log book submitted to Rossendale Council details various incoming calls received about fights, arguments and other incidents inside and outside the Roebuck. Log notes for the first incident on April 24, 2021, state: “Group of youths have been causing issues. They have headed-off down Burnley Road. They are aged between 18-21.

“There are a few of them but only one of them has been kicking-off. They have been in the pub. Information says they called last orders and when people were asked to leave, some issues started. No Damage. No assaults, They were just causing a nuisance out on the street.”

Log records for the second incident on October 10, 2021, at around 12.40am, state: “Reports of a large group, approximately 20, outside the Roebuck. The landlady is outside, struggling to calm the situation. Lots of aggression. One male with his top off trying to start a fight. The majority are on the road.” A few minutes later, the crowd dispersed, the notes add.

The third reported incident was on October 31, 2021, around 1.20am. The police log states: “Large fight going on outside after they have been kicked-out of the pub. Males are fighting and their partners are trying to stop them. Not weapons. Just all very drunk. Refusing to stop and leave the area. They were arguing and fighting in the pub.”

The fourth incident was at around 1.40am on December 12, 2021. The police log states: “A 20-year-old male has taken something. He is collapsed on the floor and is being violent. He is kicking out at people. He is attacking aggressively.”

A later note adds: “Ambulance believe the male has possibly taken drugs which makes them behave aggressively. Male now gritting his teeth.” The man was later taken away by family.

Councilors have a wide range of licensing options to consider and Ms Burke will be able to put her case in detail too. The licensing hearing is at the Rossendale Council offices, Futures Park, Bacup, at 10am on April 26.

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