North Staffordshire shooting ground has license revoked

A shooting ground in the Staffordshire Moorlands has had its premises license revoked following a review.

Staffordshire Police’s licensing department applied for a review Cloudside Shooting Ground, located near to Rushton Spencer, following a number of incidents last December, including a Covid breach.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s licensing subcommittee reviewed the force’s application and it agreed with the request of the force and revoked the license to the premises.

On 19 December 2020, police were notified that customer were seen inside and the car park was full of vehicles, despite Staffordshire being in Tier 3. Officers attended and the owner claimed the shooting grounds were in Cheshire, who were in Tier 2 at the time. On entering the clubhouse, five people were sat down eating and drinking.

CCTV footage obtained by police showed similar breaches on other occasions in December.

In addition, follow-up enquiries found that the premises was not compliant with the conditions attached to the license, some of which related to the management of firearms at the location. This included firearms being left unattended propped against walls, guns being carried through the premises while not in a slip or case and firearms being left unattended near to a small child.

Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, commander of Staffordshire Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The last year has been challenging for all of us, at the time of this offence it was vitally important that everyone abided by the laws put in place to reduce the risk presented by Covid to reduce the demand on the NHS and save lives.

“I am disappointed by the actions of this premises which needlessly placed people at risk, but reassured by the positive action taken to address the matter.”

Councillor Mike Bowen, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, said: “The Covid measures have at all times been put in place to safeguard the public so breaches such as this are particularly disappointing and I am pleased that by working in partnership with the Police we have been able to take appropriate action. It sends out a clear message that we will not stand by and see rules flouted in this manner and public health put at risk especially where firearms are involved.”

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