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'At-risk girl, 14, picked up by older men in Wood St nightspot'

Child-watch unit and police file damning reports on under-age drinking at Fudge Bar

Written by . Published on December 3rd 2013.


'At-risk girl, 14, picked up by older men in Wood St nightspot'
 

A 14-year-old girl at risk of sexual exploitation was picked up by older men in a city centre club, a report to Liverpool councillors has revealed. 

Girls as young as 15 have also been found in Fudge Club on the corner of Wood Street and Concert Square, a separate police dossier on the club also discloses. 

The council’s Licensing and Gambling Committee is to meet on December 17 for a hearing to determine an application for review of the premises licence. 

Liverpool Trading Standards Alcohol and Tobacco Unit has applied for the review, saying the premises, which is next door to The Krazy House, failed two test purchases.

 The club has a 24-hour music and alcohol licence which the committee has the power to modify, suspend or revoke. 

But the most serious claim about Fudge comes in written representations from the council’s Safeguarding Children Unit. 

Predators

Their report states: “A number of concerns have been raised in relation to children consuming alcohol on this premises. In addition to under-age sales there is information that a young person (aged 14 years) who is at risk of sexual exploitation has gained access to the premises on a number of occasions and has been picked up by older men.

WWhen under-age drinking occurs it increases the risk of young people being exposed to sexual predators.

“The management and staff have failed to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to ensure the protection of young people whilst on the premises. The retailer does not appear to recognise the dangerous consequences of their actions.”

The unit is calling for strong measures to be in place to ensure people under 18 do not gain access. It also wants staff to be trained to recognise indicators of child sexual abuse.

In its submission to the committee, Merseyside Police says it already has concerns around existing levels of violent crime and disorder at the premises and attributed to the premises.

“One of the recorded reports of violent crime related to a 15-year-old female on the premises in the early hours of the morning,” say the police, adding they are aware of additional evidence of sales of alcohol to under 18s.

The police want a scanning device at the entrance to the club and a reduction in the alcohol trading hours to stop the sale of drink after 3am.

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AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

How are the opening hours the problem? Seems that if they just stopped letting in the under 18s the problem would go away.

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

I blame the parents

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