Neighbours “fearful” of Thetford café which held celebrations after Euro 2016 win

Pedro's Café in Castle Street, Thetford where the owners have applied for an extended alcohol licenc

Pedro's Café in Castle Street, Thetford where the owners have applied for an extended alcohol licence. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A party at a Portuguese café after the nation's footballing success this summer got so exuberant that neighbours were 'fearful' to be living on the same street.

Pedro's Cafe in Thetford has applied to extend its licensing hours until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and to midnight Sunday to Thursdays, with alcohol sold until 30 minutes before closing.

However the applications has raised concerns from the police, Breckland Council and two neighbours, who submitted formal complaints after loud late night activity at the café made them feel 'threatened' in their own home.

In incident reports to Norfolk Police a couple who live in Castle Street said they feel 'unable to relax and unwind in our own home' due to the noise levels at the café.

On the night of July 10, when Portugal were victorious in the Euro 2016 final, they reported a high level of noise and activity at the café until 2.30am – five and a half hours after its current agreed closing time.


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In their report they said: 'The incident was awful. It made us feel truly fearful to live here.'

They also observed children playing unsupervised in the street, customers shouting and swearing, and illegally parked cars.

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A letter from police licensing officer Chris Brooks said two police inspections of Pedro's Café in September found the CCTV was not working and records in relation to staff's licensing training were incomplete.

The inoperable CCTV was considered grounds 'to warrant an objection to the proposed extension of operating hours'.

Café owner Pedro Dinis said he has collected signatures on a petition from neighbours in Castle Street who have no objection to the extended opening hours, adding that complaints about the noise had only come from 'one individual'.

Of the noise complaints, he said: 'This is normal noise. It may be 10 people outside having a drink, but they are not shouting or fighting, they are just having a conversation.

'I have fought for this business for four years. Now I have a lot of customers, we have never had any trouble and the police hardly ever have complaints about us. But now because of one individual we are having problems.'

In his application to vary the licencing agreement, landlord Carlos Ribeiro said to help protect public safety 'drunk and violent people will not be served' and the business will participate in Pub Watch and community association meetings.

Breckland Council's environmental protection officer Angela Masterson recommended the application for refusal, but said in the instance of approval conditions should be put in place to prevent use of the outside area except as a smoking area after 9pm.

The application will be considered by Breckland's licencing panel on Wednesday.

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