Covid cops called to sports club find revellers enjoying wine and mince pies


Police want to revoke a shooting club’s licence – after people were caught drinking wine and eating mince pies in breach of coronavirus guidelines.

Officers visited Cloudside Shooting Club – between Congleton and Rushton Spencer – following reports that cars were parked outside, the TV was on, and punters were in the premises.

When officers arrived they say they found five people drinking and eating mince pies – breaching Staffordshire’s coronavirus Tier 3 guidelines of the time.

In December, there was a point when Cheshire was in Tier 2, meaning pubs and restaurants could serve alcohol with a ‘substantial meal’ while Staffordshire was in Tier 3 meaning the hospitality industry was ordered to close.

In a report to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, officers say club staff tried to claim the building’s Cheshire address meant it was allowed to open.

District council licensing officers spoke to the licensee and reminded them of the coronavirus restrictions that were in place at the time.

But when officers returned to the premises on December 30 they found four people with food and drink outside the shooting club.

The police have also studied five days of CCTV footage from the site in December.

Their report states: “On each of the five days recorded, the premises was open and serving alcohol and food. The premises was busy and on some days crowded with customers.

“There was no social distancing, with some customers walking around with drinks, standing without masks and only a small number of customers and staff taking the Covid precautions.

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“This is the worst example of a lack of compliance with the coronavirus legislation by a licensed premises in Staffordshire and due to the premises licence holder being directly involved shows that they themselves have a blatant disregard for the regulations which is a serious failing of compliance, and further undermines the objectives of public safety and the protection of children from harm.

“The behaviour of the premises licence holder falls considerably short of what would be expected from a responsible retailer while holding a position of trust and authority, particularly in a time of national emergency and therefore Staffordshire Police submit the only appropriate step to take is to revoke the licence.”



Matt is a Senior Live Reporter for StokeonTrentLive

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You can contact Matt at matthew.jackson@reachplc.com

Officers also say guns were left in the club house unattended and were carried through the area while not in slips or cases. On one occasion a child was playing in an area next to a gun.

They say premises in Wolverhampton as well as two in Birmingham have had their licence revoked in similar circumstances.

A consultation is now underway with the district council before any decision can be made on the club’s future.

StokeonTrentLive has approached Cloudside Shooting Club for a comment.



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