Lancashire

Four rapes linked to Accrington bar's 'vulnerable' drinkers

IBar in Accrington Image copyright Google
Image caption Police said the management of IBar had failed to act on warnings about crime

Four people were raped after being allowed to leave the same bar in a vulnerable state, it has been claimed.

IBar in Accrington, Lancashire, has been ordered to close for three months after it was linked to a series of crimes, including the sex attacks.

The bar's management failed to act on warnings about customers being served while drunk and drug dealing, a council committee was told.

Lawyers representing the bar promised stricter checks and reduced hours.

Sgt Gary Hennighan told the Hyndburn Council meeting there had been four allegations of rape made by customers who had left the town centre bar in the last 10 months.

Police concerns

A total of 44 crimes connected to the bar were reported during that period, including a brawl involving 20 people and customers being served when they were heavily drunk.

Sgt Hennighan said an action plan was agreed in September 2018 but management had failed to act on police concerns.

The council agreed to suspend the licence to allow the bar's owner, Bravo Inns, to "get its house in order", the Local Democracy Reporter Service wrote.

Michelle Hazlewood, representing Bravo Inns, said the bar would impose a new closing tome of 05:00, instead of 06:00, once it was allowed to reopen.

It would also introduce more stringent searches to help prevent drug offences.

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