Police fears means Princes Street McDonald’s loses 24 hour licence

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An Edinburgh McDonald’s restaurant has lost its 24-hour licence following police concerns of anti-social behaviour.

However, the council’s licensing sub committee considered a renewal from McDonald’s last month and, following concerns from Police Scotland, agreed to slash the restaurant’s opening hours.

McDonald's is to lose its 24 hour licence in Princes Street.

McDonald's is to lose its 24 hour licence in Princes Street.

Licensing sub-committee convener, Cllr Cathy Fullerton, said: “A licence renewal was considered by licensing sub-committee last month and, based on concerns from Police Scotland, the committee agreed with McDonald’s proposal to resolve these by reducing the opening hours to 3am at the weekends and 2am during the week.”

It means people in Edinburgh will no longer be able to get round the clock burgers from McDonald’s as ofTuesday (November 21). The city council’s stance on late hours premises is that it would not grant a licence generally beyond 2am Sundays to Thursdays and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. McDonald’s was provided yearly licences in the past on the basis that stewarding was present to prevent any crime and anti-social behaviour. But Police Scotland concerns means the authority recommended to refuse the renewal.

As a result, the McDonald’s store will open 5am-2am Sunday to Thursday and 5am-3am Friday and Saturday.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “Due to licensing changes introduced by Edinburgh City Council the Princes Street restaurant will no longer operate 24/7. This will come into effect from November 21 when we will close at 2am on weekdays and 3am on weekends.”

Police Scotland commented on a consultation last year on Edinburgh’s late hours catering policy and recommended those late night premises should stop serving prior to bars and night clubs closing for the night.

A spokesman said: “It is acknowledged that a vibrant city centre and night time economy are vital in attracting residents, visitors and business to Edinburgh, however a balance needs to be struck.

“It is well known that excessive alcohol consumption is an aggravating factor in a range of crime and community safety issues across the city ranging from minor anti-social behaviour to serious violent crime.

“The impact of the late hours catering policy in relation to these issues cannot be underestimated and is a key factor in crime and disorder levels, hotspots, dispersal and overall quality of life for the residents of Edinburgh.”

The Princes Street branch first traded 24 hours after it was granted a temporary late licence for the Fringe Festival in August 2011. Police said during that period that there had been incidents including physical assaults, racist abuse, drug taking, staff being spat on and drunks having a food fight.

The decision to award McDonald’s with a 12-month all-night licence back in 2012 prompted a backlash from concerned residents and the police.