Thursday 19 June 2003

Free the Pizza

The Edinburgh police are being wholly unreasonable in objecting to a request for a takeaway Pizza outlet to stay open late after a Robbie Williams concert:
Parvis Moghaddam, who has run Pizza Primo, on Morrison Street, for the last 12 years, said he had been hoping to receive a huge boost to business - at what is a traditionally quiet time of year - from fans on their way home from the shows.

But Lothian and Borders Police believe it is "wholly inappropriate" for any business to be granted a licence extension for a one-off event, claiming it will encourage people to "loiter in the city longer than necessary".

Why on earth should the police say that people can't "loiter in the city longer than necessary"? This isn't the Soviet Union. Tourism is one of Edinburgh's biggest industries and we don't need public officials talking in Orwellian tones about "worrying precedents" or businesses "taking full advantage (sic) of the maximum opening hours". Of course takeaways stay open as long as they can - how else could they pay the taxes that pay the police wages? By all means let the police deal with troublemakers, although I've neither seen nor heard any near the Pizza Primo and I live nearby. Should the patrons overdose on the 14" Hot & Spicy I'm sure that the Boys in Blue can attend the crime scene quickly enough - the West End Police Station is about 50 yards away.