Hundreds of thefts from Harrogate bars reported to police

The Viper Rooms in Harrogate (s)

The Viper Rooms in Harrogate (s)

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Almost 300 incidents of thefts from bars and nightclubs in Harrogate have been reported to North Yorkshire Police over the last five years.

Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request show there were 287 reported thefts from The Viper Rooms, The Moko Lounge, The Blues Cafe Bar and Rehab.

However, despite the high number of reports since January 2011, figures revealed that just six people have been convicted of theft, with 23 people arrested by police.

The Viper Rooms had the highest number of reported thefts with 136 incidents since January 2011 while 14 cases were reported at The Blues Cafe Bar during the same period.

Incidents have dropped from their highest point of 37 in 2011 to 24 in 2014 and with 14 reported up to May 2015, the nightclub has said that the figures are ‘encouraging’.

The club’s owner Paul Kinsey, who also runs the Moko Lounge, argued that many of the items reported lost to police were actually lost on site and then returned to the customer.

He said: “In the Viper Rooms we have clear signage that offers customers a free handbag depository in the cloakroom. We have a high level of floor supervision and a comprehensive CCTV system and hence there are only 24 reported losses in 12 months from 25,000 visitors.

“We take every report seriously and it is logged and matched up with items found in the venue and matched items are returned to their owners.

“Indeed on a typical weekend three or four customers misplace bags or phones which we return to them because they have been found in the venue by our staff or handed in by other customers.

“Fortunately the vast majority of property lost in our venues finds its way back to the rightful owner, a credit to the honesty of the vast majority of our customers.”

Mr Kinsey said there was a ‘shared view’ by police and operations nationally that customers who lose their phone report it as stolen for insurance purposes, which could lead to an increase in figures.

There have been 71 reported thefts from the Moko Lounge since January 2011 and 66 at Rehab during the same period.

The figures revealed that in each year The Viper Rooms had the most instances of reported thefts with The Blues Cafe Bar boasting no reported instances so far this year.

Simon Colgan, co-owner of the bar, said that the smaller size of their bar, as well as their use of CCTV and ‘regulars looking after each other’s property’ helped to keep instances of theft low.

Rehab did not provide a comment when approached.

North Yorkshire Police has warned people against leaving items unattended on a night out, ‘making it easy for people to help themselves.’