Bolton bars get rid of boxing machines to cut night time fighting in town centre

A boxing machine

Carol Rialas, director of J2 in Mawdsley Street

Eden Lomax, who killed Simon Mitchell in Bolton town centre

PC Jane Wilcock says boxing machines have a negative influence

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , crime reporter

BOXING machines are being removed from bars and takeaways in Bolton — in a bid to reduce violence in the town centre.

Police have approached businesses and asked them to voluntarily remove the machines.

The boxing machines, which involve people punching a pad to see how hard they can hit the target, are legal - but police believe they "do not contribute positively to the atmosphere" in the town centre.

So far, J2, After Dark and Durty Gurty’s have all agreed to remove the machines and officers are speaking to more venues in the coming weeks.

Carol Rialas, director of J2 in Mawdsley Street, Bolton, said: “We felt the machine was in an area where groups of young lads would gather, have a drink and start punching it and then start fighting.

“It was not the perception the club wanted. We are a premier nightclub not an arcade — that’s why we decided to get rid of it last month.

“We had it for a couple of years but I said it wasn’t right for it to be there. It can be quite intimidating when people are punching something in a closed area.

“It could fire people up and then they go out to another venue.”

The machine was in the VIP area of the club.

PC Jane Wilcock, from Bolton police’s licensing and partnership team, said: “We are looking at encouraging more pubs, bars, clubs and takeaways to remove their machines as we don't feel that they make any positive contribution to the night time economy.”

PC Wilcock worked with Pat and Dave Rogers, the founders Every Action Has Consequences (EAHC), who launched the charity after their son, 24-year-old Adam Rogers, was killed by a single punch during a night out in Blackburn in July, 2009.

PC Wilcock said: “We hope to present the charity’s work at a pub watch meeting in the near future to reinforce this message.”

The charity aims to put an end to “senseless violence” by developing more responsible attitudes. They do this by showing a DVD about consequences of anti-social and violent behaviour for victims and the offenders.

PC Wilcock said police were working to reduce violence in hand with the new partnership formed earlier this year to turn the reputation of the town around.

The partnership of licensees, door staff, taxi firms, CCTV operators, Bolton Street Angels, police and Bolton Council was formed to make the town centre more family-friendly and to draw older people back in the evenings.

Asif Vali, chairman of the partnership and Bolton Taxi Company Association, said: “There have been a lot of changes to the night time economy in Bolton. I am glad licensees are adhering to the changes.

“I am not sure if it’s right or wrong to have the machines in these places. From my experience of them, they have broken down barriers as people crowd around them.

“But everybody condemns violence whether it is inside or outside a boxing ring. The town centre has improved dramatically in the past three months.”

Mr Vali, Amir Khan’s former manager, added that boxing should take place in a controlled environment.

Sixteen people have lost their lives due to alcohol-fuelled violence in the past three years across Greater Manchester.

Police figures show 23 per cent of young men aged between 18 and 25 are most likely to carry out violent crime.

Men in the same age bracket are also most likely to be a victim of violent crime.

GMP launched its own One Punch Can Kill campaign last year following the death of Royal Marine Wesley Clutterbuck, aged 19, who died after a single punch on a night out in Rochdale in June 2013.

Eden Lomax, aged 17, was jailed for life in December for the murder of Simon Mitchell in Bolton town centre in June last year.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Mitchell suffered “catastrophic brain injuries” after falling and hitting his head on a concrete slab after Lomax punched him once.

He was pronounced dead at the scene in Victoria Square outside Game.

Lomax, of Northwood Crescent, Deane, had drunk cider, a quarter of a bottle of vodka and smoked cannabis before the attack.

Comments (20)

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6:17am Tue 15 Apr 14

breightmet kid says...

Have the managers and owners of these bars and takeaways absolutely no common sense at all? The Police should not be asking for the machines to be taken out of these premises, they should be ordering them to be scrapped immediately.
Will our MP's be asking Parliament for a change in the law on this matter? and will the public be seeing some genuine positive action?
Have the managers and owners of these bars and takeaways absolutely no common sense at all? The Police should not be asking for the machines to be taken out of these premises, they should be ordering them to be scrapped immediately. Will our MP's be asking Parliament for a change in the law on this matter? and will the public be seeing some genuine positive action? breightmet kid
  • Score: 6

7:51am Tue 15 Apr 14

JustBecause says...

“It was not the perception the club wanted. We are a premier nightclub not an arcade — that’s why we decided to get rid of it last month."

But you had it for two years ! You loonies,
“It was not the perception the club wanted. We are a premier nightclub not an arcade — that’s why we decided to get rid of it last month." But you had it for two years ! You loonies, JustBecause
  • Score: 31

8:36am Tue 15 Apr 14

soup153 says...

Terrible these machine, saw two of them the other day beating hell out of another one. I believe one was actually seen urinating on the town square.
Terrible these machine, saw two of them the other day beating hell out of another one. I believe one was actually seen urinating on the town square. soup153
  • Score: 10

9:10am Tue 15 Apr 14

stereo_world says...

HAHAHAHA. Morons! Absolute morons! Yes, cause the root of all violence is a machine with a punchbag.

Is there this same problem at Hollywood Bowl? Are there mass brawls outside Blackpool Pleasure Beach?

Please tell me this is a late April fools joke.
HAHAHAHA. Morons! Absolute morons! Yes, cause the root of all violence is a machine with a punchbag. Is there this same problem at Hollywood Bowl? Are there mass brawls outside Blackpool Pleasure Beach? Please tell me this is a late April fools joke. stereo_world
  • Score: -5

9:37am Tue 15 Apr 14

BlueRay79 says...

Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.
Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes. BlueRay79
  • Score: 10

10:32am Tue 15 Apr 14

peregrintook says...

"The machine was in the VIP area of the club"

J2 VIP Package 1 - for all you douchebags' out there.
Private booth with ice bucket to put your £5 champagne in!
Look cool with this real head turner!
Don't forget to practice your punches on our VIP boxing machine too. Sted head Steve holds the current record, he's so tough.
"The machine was in the VIP area of the club" J2 VIP Package 1 - for all you douchebags' out there. Private booth with ice bucket to put your £5 champagne in! Look cool with this real head turner! Don't forget to practice your punches on our VIP boxing machine too. Sted head Steve holds the current record, he's so tough. peregrintook
  • Score: 10

11:07am Tue 15 Apr 14

Balboa says...

Was this in Bolton or Blackpool?
Meat heads, chav bar owners, will lead only to one outcome.
Was this in Bolton or Blackpool? Meat heads, chav bar owners, will lead only to one outcome. Balboa
  • Score: 6

11:11am Tue 15 Apr 14

steveG says...

BlueRay79 wrote:
Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.
Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for.
[quote][p][bold]BlueRay79[/bold] wrote: Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.[/p][/quote]Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for. steveG
  • Score: -1

11:57am Tue 15 Apr 14

melloj says...

stereo_world wrote:
HAHAHAHA. Morons! Absolute morons! Yes, cause the root of all violence is a machine with a punchbag.

Is there this same problem at Hollywood Bowl? Are there mass brawls outside Blackpool Pleasure Beach?

Please tell me this is a late April fools joke.
Hollywood bowl and Blackpool pleasure beach aren't hubs for Chavs who can't handle their drink and have violent tendencies after a few pints.

I've been saying this for years. Only 'absolute morons' would have these machines on thier premises that would influence immature, drunk, egotistical men to start fighting.
[quote][p][bold]stereo_world[/bold] wrote: HAHAHAHA. Morons! Absolute morons! Yes, cause the root of all violence is a machine with a punchbag. Is there this same problem at Hollywood Bowl? Are there mass brawls outside Blackpool Pleasure Beach? Please tell me this is a late April fools joke.[/p][/quote]Hollywood bowl and Blackpool pleasure beach aren't hubs for Chavs who can't handle their drink and have violent tendencies after a few pints. I've been saying this for years. Only 'absolute morons' would have these machines on thier premises that would influence immature, drunk, egotistical men to start fighting. melloj
  • Score: 5

12:08pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Bob Shaftoe says...

Who are you to call someone you know nothing about a loony? It's slanderous.

Anyway I love belting this machine at J2 on a Friday night & try to imagine it's one of the 'know alls' on here that I'm thumping. Great anger management, you should try it.
Who are you to call someone you know nothing about a loony? It's slanderous. Anyway I love belting this machine at J2 on a Friday night & try to imagine it's one of the 'know alls' on here that I'm thumping. Great anger management, you should try it. Bob Shaftoe
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Bob Shaftoe says...

JustBecause wrote:
“It was not the perception the club wanted. We are a premier nightclub not an arcade — that’s why we decided to get rid of it last month."

But you had it for two years ! You loonies,
OOPs,

Who are you to call someone you know nothing about a loony? It's slanderous.

Anyway I love belting this machine at J2 on a Friday night & try to imagine it's one of the 'know alls' on here that I'm thumping. Great anger management, you should try it.
[quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: “It was not the perception the club wanted. We are a premier nightclub not an arcade — that’s why we decided to get rid of it last month." But you had it for two years ! You loonies,[/p][/quote]OOPs, Who are you to call someone you know nothing about a loony? It's slanderous. Anyway I love belting this machine at J2 on a Friday night & try to imagine it's one of the 'know alls' on here that I'm thumping. Great anger management, you should try it. Bob Shaftoe
  • Score: -1

1:25pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Beyond News Forum says...

So alcohol is NOT the problem here?

Next they will be blaming the chairs, fights breaking out because there is a seating area where people congregate to have an argument.

I understand the logic and philosophy but they do NOT ban the one major associating factor and pick on the least objective subjects.

Money! people their is a huge amount of money in alcohol via tax and huge corporation profits. The establishment blame everything but the one big money spinner for the corporate elite - alcohol.

Go on disagree...
So alcohol is NOT the problem here? Next they will be blaming the chairs, fights breaking out because there is a seating area where people congregate to have an argument. I understand the logic and philosophy but they do NOT ban the one major associating factor and pick on the least objective subjects. Money! people their is a huge amount of money in alcohol via tax and huge corporation profits. The establishment blame everything but the one big money spinner for the corporate elite - alcohol. Go on disagree... Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Beyond News Forum says...

**** where is that edit button??? For crying out loud Bolton News... update this outdated comment system. Drupal and CMS have much better commenting systems for FREE!!!
**** where is that edit button??? For crying out loud Bolton News... update this outdated comment system. Drupal and CMS have much better commenting systems for FREE!!! Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 2

1:28pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Jim271 says...

Bolton Town Centre at the weekend is just a advertisement for a bad episode of SHAMELESS,
Bolton Town Centre at the weekend is just a advertisement for a bad episode of SHAMELESS, Jim271
  • Score: 1

1:28pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Comment777 says...

So all those testosterone filled males will have nothing to punch except all the families that the town is trying to attract...

Place a few boxing rings in the town centre and let these amateur fighters challenge each other under controlled conditions. It would attract a crowd and if some of the travellers come down most of those that enter the ring will think twice about fighting unknown adversaries...
So all those testosterone filled males will have nothing to punch except all the families that the town is trying to attract... Place a few boxing rings in the town centre and let these amateur fighters challenge each other under controlled conditions. It would attract a crowd and if some of the travellers come down most of those that enter the ring will think twice about fighting unknown adversaries... Comment777
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Tue 15 Apr 14

BlueRay79 says...

steveG wrote:
BlueRay79 wrote:
Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.
Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for.
I was being sarcastic but I guess that went over your head?
[quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BlueRay79[/bold] wrote: Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.[/p][/quote]Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for.[/p][/quote]I was being sarcastic but I guess that went over your head? BlueRay79
  • Score: 3

2:59pm Tue 15 Apr 14

steveG says...

BlueRay79 wrote:
steveG wrote:
BlueRay79 wrote:
Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.
Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for.
I was being sarcastic but I guess that went over your head?
Yes,you're far too clever for me.
[quote][p][bold]BlueRay79[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BlueRay79[/bold] wrote: Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.[/p][/quote]Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for.[/p][/quote]I was being sarcastic but I guess that went over your head?[/p][/quote]Yes,you're far too clever for me. steveG
  • Score: 1

6:07pm Tue 15 Apr 14

BlueRay79 says...

steveG wrote:
BlueRay79 wrote:
steveG wrote:
BlueRay79 wrote:
Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.
Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for.
I was being sarcastic but I guess that went over your head?
Yes,you're far too clever for me.
Oh well, maybe next time...
[quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BlueRay79[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BlueRay79[/bold] wrote: Why do these machines even exist? So that young testosteronal, pheromonal "men" can gather round comparing "****" sizes.[/p][/quote]Everyone's an amateur psychologist these days including many making a living at it. These new universities offering psychology courses have a lot to answer for.[/p][/quote]I was being sarcastic but I guess that went over your head?[/p][/quote]Yes,you're far too clever for me.[/p][/quote]Oh well, maybe next time... BlueRay79
  • Score: -1

6:29pm Tue 15 Apr 14

127001 says...

A long time ago, when I used to go out in Bolton I had the odd drink, got slightly tipsy but never, not even once had the intention to cause anyone harm or fight.

It's not the drink, the boxing machines or anything else solely responsible. It's the attitudes of certain individuals.

If sentences were tougher and actual justice was served then this 'minority' would certainly think twice.

Sadly though we now live in a world closer to that of Grand Theft Auto.
A long time ago, when I used to go out in Bolton I had the odd drink, got slightly tipsy but never, not even once had the intention to cause anyone harm or fight. It's not the drink, the boxing machines or anything else solely responsible. It's the attitudes of certain individuals. If sentences were tougher and actual justice was served then this 'minority' would certainly think twice. Sadly though we now live in a world closer to that of Grand Theft Auto. 127001
  • Score: 8

11:50pm Tue 15 Apr 14

boltonnut says...

The ten pint mentality,they think they can kick the crap out of anybody,their parteners,their children,old people,weaker people.These machines just get them primed.If these machines could fight back the drunken cowards wouldn't go any where near them.
The ten pint mentality,they think they can kick the crap out of anybody,their parteners,their children,old people,weaker people.These machines just get them primed.If these machines could fight back the drunken cowards wouldn't go any where near them. boltonnut
  • Score: 0

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