Safety concerns prompt bar's closure

A CITY centre bar has been closed at the request of police after a 17-year-old youth was stabbed at the premises in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

Empire Bar, in Charter Square, Sheffield, was ordered to close by licensing chiefs on Thursday after an emergency meeting.

The closure order comes just days after the death of 26-year-old Thomas Gower, who was attacked at the Alibi bar in nearby Trippet Lane on December 18.

Supt Peter Norman said: "Our Sheffield licensing team and the City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team have spent a considerable time working with the licensee from the Empire Bar in an attempt to ensure safety and licensing objectives are fully met.

"In our opinion, those safety measures were not in place at the Empire Bar and therefore we found it necessary to take our concerns before the Sheffield Licensing Committee.

"They have agreed with our concerns and a full review of the club's licence will be carried out on January 6. Until then the premises are closed. Public safety is, and will remain, our priority at all times.

"Our objective is to ensure that Sheffield remains a safe and secure city centre in which to live, work and visit, whether that is during the day or for those involved in the night-time economy."