REPORTS of fighting, fireworks thrown into bars, attacks, abuse and even a lost dog have led to police being called to Bolton’s pubs and clubs hundreds of times over the last two years.
New figures have revealed that between the start of 2011 and the end of 2012, officers were called to town centre bars Yates’s Wine Lodge 177 times, Bamboogy 160 times and Courtneys 123 times.
Police were also called to J2 Nightclub 125 times, the now-closed Ikon nightclub 109 times, The Balmoral 88 times, The Swan 85 times, The Elephant and Castle 82 times, The Late Club 75 times, The Flying Flute 71 times, Durty Gurtys 70 times, McCauleys 62 times and Lush bar 60 times.
Those on the list outside the town centre include 64 calls to The Beehive in Lostock, 73 to The Welcome Inn in Farnworth and 56 to the now closed Flying Shuttle in Farnworth.
The figures — which have been published under the Freedom of Information Act — have been revealed just weeks after Bolton’s top police office, Chief Supt David Hull, said he wants to attract more families to the town centre to end its “unsafe” image.
He described the centre as “not pleasant” and said changes needed to be made to stamp out violence — although he insisted things were steadily improving.
And landlords claim the town centre is safe.
Michelle Parkinson, chairman of Bolton’s Pubwatch scheme, said: “These figures include anything and everything.
“Police could have been called because someone collapsed or they needed to speak to someone in the premises.
“It can give a bad impression of the town and people think that there is trouble and won’t go when it may not be the case.”
Karl Ryan, manager of J2 on Mawdsley Street said: “We are the only club in town and I am amazed by the figures. Our venue is run and managed very safely.”
He added the figures could appear high because police are called for a variety of reason, such as lost purses.
Mr Ryan claimed police were happy about a lack of problems at the club over the Christmas period.
Manager of the Elephant and Caste in Deansgate, Ben Wills, said, as its clientele is more mature than other town centre pubs, there is less trouble and believes the 82 visits were because police wanted to view their CCTV footage if there had been problems outside the building.
“I have been here since October and worked every Friday and Saturday night and there have only been two fights,” he said.
A spokesman at The Beehive was also surprised the figures showed police had been called there 64 times.
He added: “The information is definitely incorrect. We never have any trouble here.”
Steve Aldred, landlord of The Welcome Inn in Farnworth described the claim police had been to his pub on 73 occasions as “ridiculous”.
“We don’t really have much trouble here and to say they have been 73 times is outrageous,” he added.
He said the figures could appear high because of people from the pub call police about incidents in Market Street or at a nearby youth club.
A Yates’s spokesman said: “The data does not correlate with the strict recording of incidents that takes place within Yates’s in Bury and Bolton.
“Each venue has a good working relationship with their local police and licensing and the police have no concerns with the way these premises operate.”
Geoff Thompson, manager of The Balmoral, added: “All the pubs are working together with Pubwatch and we are trying to change the reputation in the area and cut down the amount of police call outs.
“I was brought in in October to try to change the reputation of the place.”
Bozhidar Kafabov, manager of The Flying Flute and The Swan, blamed cheap drink promotions in other bars on the number of call outs.
He said: “We open late and the people coming in late have already had a few drinks and so there will sometimes be problems.
“I think we do have a good relationship with the police and we are always helping the police, even if something happened outside the premises.”
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman added: “Call-outs could be for anything from lost pets to a member of staff refusing to serve an underage customer. They are not always indicative of how prone to anti-social behaviour a given venue is.
“Using Pubwatch and many other initiatives, our officers work with licensees to make licensed premises as safe as possible.”