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"We are fighting a losing battle against the yobs," says boss of Verve Bar

Bar owners paying for mobile CCTV van during busy times

A police officer outside Verve Bar in Huddersfield

A bar owner has claimed that door staff and fellow licensees are losing the battle against trouble-makers in Huddersfield town centre.

Kyle Walter, a director and licensee at Verve Bar, says cuts to police numbers have made life very difficult for bar owners in town.

However, he says conscientious bar owners are determined to do all they can to keep yobs out of their premises, including paying for a mobile CCTV van to patrol the streets as a deterrent.

Police trawling CCTV footage after attack outside Verve Bar

Mr Walter said incidents which took place in the vicinity of bars, including his own, were tarnishing the reputation of well-run premises.

He was speaking out following an attack in the early hours of Sunday on Byram Street, near to his own bar.

Verve Bar, Byram Street in Huddersfield town centre

The bar’s CCTV shows an altercation on Byram Street just before 3am which leads to a man receiving a wound to his stomach, which may have been caused by a knife.

The footage appears to show an attacker jabbing his victim in the side, then blood can be seen soaking through his white top. Police investigations are continuing.

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Mr Walter said his door staff had twice prevented the alleged attacker from entering Verve shortly before the incident.

“I cannot control people who are ejected from the bar, or who are loitering,” he said.

Door staff at Verve routinely search customers for drugs and weapons and use metal detecting wands to check for knives.

“The police have told us they don’t really have the resources to manage the town centre,” said Mr Walter.

Bars have now joined together to pay for a mobile CCTV van during busy periods, including Wednesday evenings and at weekends.

But, if things are to improve, youth culture needs to change, says Mr Walter.

“From a business perspective, it is near enough impossible to manage at times, to manage the culture that has grown.

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“Gangs and people are hanging around in town. We – all the bars – are fighting a losing battle and if the police don’t have the resources to deal with the situation, what are we supposed to do?

“We are the frontline and are dealing with it the best we can.”

Mr Walter said it appeared that knife crime was a growing problem.

“There seems to be a lot of knife crime in Kirklees at the moment.”

Police wrestle a young man to the ground after he refused to calm down outside The Verve bar in Byram Street in early hours of New Year's Day. He was later arrested for being drunk and disorderly

His own bar tries stop violent people gaining entry.

“I can’t be held responsible, or the bar tarnished, if I am ejecting people and they are committing the crime in the street after being refused entry.

“We have one of the strictest policies in the town. We don’t tolerate any sort of bad behaviour. We want it to be a peaceful and enjoyable place.”

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