Freedom of Information request reveals scale of police call outs to Manchester’s gay village venues (video)

Canal Street in the early hours

The early hours of 13 January 2013. A still from the video footage which you can watch below. As I recorded this on Richmond Street I was physically assaulted by a man who took a swipe at my camera. He was bleeding and I was left with his blood over my hand and the camera. I’m sure the police saw this but they did nothing. Another person who was filming had his shots deleted from the memory card by police officers after they bundled him around the corner. Guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) warn that any police officer who deletes a photographer’s images could face criminal, civil or disciplinary action.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed the scale of police call outs to gay village venues.

Greater Manchester Police supplied a list of 4,079 pubs, bars and clubs they had been called out to in 2011-2012 (some venues may appear on the list more than once).

Of those, 41 venues across Greater Manchester had more than 100 police call outs and 7 of those 41 premises were in Manchester’s gay village:

AXM Late, Bloom Street: 170 call outs
Baa Bar, Sackville Street: 110
Churchills, Chorlton Street: 102
Cruz 101, Princess Street: 123
New York New York, Bloom Street: 236
The New Union, Princess Street: 188
Thompsons Arms: 152

New York New York had the fifth highest number of police call outs in Greater Manchester (236).

The four premises with even higher call-outs were also in Manchester city centre: 5th Avenue on Princess Street (542), Tiger Tiger at the Printworks (496), Revolution on Deansgate (295), FAC251 on Princess Street (269).

You can see the full FOI request here.

For some reason the HTML (web) version cuts off at letter G in the list and not everyone can open an Excel spreadsheet. So I have put up HTML and text versions here.

I didn’t make this request and don’t know the person who did, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s interesting.

The pubs and clubs have made the point that sometimes incidents happen nearby and are tagged with the name of the nearest venue, despite that business having nothing to do with the incident. Also that people tend to head over there late when places elsewhere in the city centre close. Some to pick up a taxi.

Nevertheless, this is an indication of the scale of trouble in the gay village area for whatever reason. How sad that what used to be a LGBT safe space has reached this point.

Time for a clean up?

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Bottle-attack takeaway ordered to shut at 11pm – Manchester Evening News (15 Feb 2013)

Booze-fuelled revellers ‘could kill Gay Village in five years’ – Manchester Evening News (2 April 2013)

“Enough is enough” – bar bid for 5.30am licence is rejected – Manchester Evening News (16 April 2013)


  • JJ - Mcr says:

    The village has been a dangerous place for several years – when we go out now, we are home by 10pm if we even go out at all in the village – we have had several run ins with straight people inc me being arrested ‘for attacking 9 straight people’ – it subsequently turned out that two of these were off duty police and once the local paper were informed and started to make noises the police suddenly changed their bigoted view of incident (their version of events were disputed by all in that bar that afternoon also)- or how about the time my other half was touched up in the toilets of a venue, when we called the police and restrained the foreign national, it was my partner who was arrested, all the police were concerned about was this poor little foreign guy who had prostate cancer, when my partner was in handcuffs the police threw him around like a rag doll (with a hope i presume of him getting angry and giving them free license to administer their own extra ‘justice’)- he was referred to whilst waiting to be booked in at the police station as ‘one of the shitters’, they then subsequently arrested me three days later after believing that the poor little foreign national had been set up by us – thankfully once again cctv from the venue along with statements from bar staff and owner proved this to be complete lies – there are other incidents I could refer to, there have been too many to find amusing anymore – the police are useless at best, as with any large organisation there are some exceptionally poor officers with issues towards the LGBT community- the village is dead, long has been – how many bars open for evening only now as people have abandoned the area for fear of safety just as much as the financial cost – so thank you to all who have allowed the once ‘safe haven’ to become one of the most dangerous areas to go and socialise

  • Keith Jinks says:

    I have been away from the village for a few years now. It has changed drastically.

    I was one of the doormen on several venues including Churchill’s, New York, Rembrandt, Queer, New Union, Poptastic, Essential, Thompson Arms, Spirit & Hollywood Show bar.

    Back then the venues were cleaner, safer and more to the point busier. WHY were they busier? Because they were safer you had to be GAY or be with a majority GAY crowd.

    The door staff or at least most of them understood the importance of keeping it tight with policies and yet being friendly and seeking the real reason as to why there was any issues.

    All too often now it’s a quick fix for door staff, no investigation or chatting to find out what happened. Just trying to show how macho or strong they can make themselves look. This is fine on venues that have had a reputation for trouble in the town centre, but the village never had this issue.

    Why now do we have PRIDE PARADE and section off the Village every August to celebrate? What are we celebrating? The failure of venues and an area to remain GAY? Good choice.

    It will cost venues initially, but to take a stance and go back ten years on policies and tighten up and encourage GAY people back to what was the GAY VILLAGE, will possibly help stop a lot of the issues with crime and who knows maybe even the daytime trade will come back if venues show an elegance to the Gay Community.

    I now run straight pubs around the south of England without the problems of the ones in the village and would love to be able to say that my visit back up north would be to visit the GAY Village, but I fear this will not be the case for some time to come.

  • Tracey Walsh says:

    I think you will probably find that because of our geographical location i.e.: being not even 50 metres away from the three takeaways, the late night taxi rank and the homeless centre on bloom street, that these figures as confirmed by the police are call outs to the area and unfortunately we the Newyork Newyork are the recognised landmark by the control centre at GMP, so therefore these figures are actually incorrect and as commented many times on Facebook and the group facts about manchester pride that in actual fact we are one of the safest family run venues( with my husband and son operating as door supervisors ) also confirmed by the police. This is a shame that these figures are so misleading and therefore, to the few who either haven’t been in to NYNY or who haven’t visited in recent years it would appear that it wasn’t the lovely , friendly , safe space that it is and as i stated before the police can confirm all of this.

  • julian tipping says:

    one thing about essential they were tight on entry.white membership card was best.any iffy drunks had no chance getting in.i used to dance till 2am monday morning and walk down oxford
    road to my car no probs.they always had the top guys on the door.even single new faces were questioned before entry.i once
    saw a group of lads waiting to get in and all but one of them
    was allowed in even though they had travelled together.they had
    seperated q for member cards and another q for fresh so they did
    not hassle regs.this is from when they first opened.they were the best of times in the village.what happened?

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