Drink-fuelled chaos and disorder in south Liverpool during lockdown spread into nearby woodland stretching the resources of local police officers, councillors were told today.
The ECHO has reported on scenes in Woolton over three consecutive weekends when neighbours said large numbers of people gathered in the village, breaking lockdown restrictions and causing anti social behaviour and littering.
Two restaurants accused of breaking their licensing conditions due to the manner in which they sold alcohol were hauled before councillors today in relation to the scenes.
Another two restaurants will go before councillors tomorrow, with all four due to find out their fate next week.
In this afternoon's review, focused on Italian restaurant Crust, a representative from Merseyside Police at the meeting revealed that the numbers of people present in Woolton Village meant that there was sometimes overspill into nearby Woolton Woods.
While addressing the committee for Crust's review, Merseyside Police Sergeant Craig Carmichael said the disorder had put significant pressure on police resources.
He said: "We did have to put quite a large number of officers into that area because on the back of the issues in Woolton we then found that we started to have problems in Woolton Woods.
"Talking to Inspector Burkett, he believes that that was a cumulative effect of what had actually started in Woolton because of the pubs and bars opening.
"That has increased the numbers of people coming and with that has increased the ASB and the issues and the criminal damage in the area. It has has a big impact on resources."
Sergeant Carmichael, as well as ward councillor Malcolm Kelly, repeated points from this morning's meeting of fellow premises Nowhere, saying that while many of the people gathering in the area were not customers of Crust specifically, it was the police's view that the fact that they were open acted as a catalyst to draw people to the area.
He said an online survey undertaken after the consecutive weekends of trouble showed residents of the area were significantly more uncomfortable walking the streets in their own community.
Merseyside Police and local councillors are supporting an attempt to change the venue's licence to stop or limit sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises.
Crust's director Paolo Cillo said he and his staff had made attempts to clean up the area in the aftermath of the drinking and put signs in place telling customers to take food and drink far away from the restaurant.
He also said that while staff made efforts to disperse people away from the restaurant, there was a limit to the amount that they could do as a premises to keep people safe.
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Similarly to this morning's review of Nowhere, local councillors and police rejected that claim, saying the premises had a duty under the licensing act to take measures to prevent disorder and crime.
The other two premises, Saray Istanbul and Dostana, will have their licences reviewed tomorrow.
Along with Crust and Nowhere, which were reviewed today, they will find out of any punishment by the middle of next week.