POLICE have raised “serious concerns” about a takeaway’s request to open until 5am at weekends.

West Mercia Police said the plan by Jaqk’s Chicken in Foregate Street to stay open until the very early hours at weekends, Bank Holiday’s and on New Year’s Eve would contribute to an increase in anti-social behaviour and disorder in the city centre.

Sergeant Martin May said: “This premise is within the Worcester community impact zone (CIZ). This zone is there for a reason. In addition, there is a taxi rank opposite Jaqk’s Chicken. This will result in there being an increase in numbers staying in the area with the expected increase in disorder.”

Sgt May said he had met with owner Aqeel Mohammed to discuss the possibility of having two bouncers wearing body cameras on the door of Jaqk’s after 1am but police still felt it would increase disorder.

Rachel Mitchell, general manager of neighbouring Whitehouse Hotel in Foregate Street, has also opposed the extended opening hours, according to Sgt May’s objection.

Police said the noise from drunk revellers outside the chicken shop could disrupt guests at the hotel and lead to negative feedback online and put off guests from staying in the future.

Sgt May said: “There will be an increase in noise and disorder at the front of the hotel.

“This is a possibility that the Jaqk’s request to stay open until 5am could result in negative comments on Trip Advisor for the hotel.

“For the city this could mean less people staying in the hotel for the weekend with a loss of income for the whole of the city over a weekend.

“They object to this request.”

Jaqk’s Chicken in Foregate Street currently stays open until 1am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday but bosses want to extend the city centre chicken shop’s opening hours to stay open until the early hours on weekends, the Sunday before Bank Holiday’s and New Year’s Eve.

Sgt May said three illegal immigrants were found by police at Jaqk’s Chicken on April 9 last year which led him to question whether owner Aqeel Mohammed was supervising his business properly.

He said: “This raises concerns regarding how the premise is run.

“Mr Aqeel will state that this was when there was when he employed another Manager. However, he has responsibility for this premise.

“We would suggest that this shows that he does not know what is happening on this premise and not supervising the premise to the standard we would expect.”

The application will go before Worcester City Council’s licensing subcommittee for a decision next Friday (January 23).

Jaqk’s Chicken falls within the council’s cumulative impact zone (CIZ) which is an area where applications are placed under greater scrutiny when looking for new or extended alcohol or late-night licences.

Applications in the city’s cumulative impact zone are usually rejected on principle and the burden of proving the takeaway would not cause further crime and disorder falls onto the owners.

Worcester City Council has recommended it changes its policy to limit the number of “vertical drinking establishments” around the city centre looking to open between midnight and 6am it grants licences to in a bid to put a stop to irresponsible drinking and increased alcohol-related crime.

The council’s review of its licensing policy found the majority of bars and clubs that had little or no seating were associated with the majority of crime and disorder.

Previous data also found that people standing tend to drink more than people sitting down and talking.

Takeaways serving food after 11pm also saw a lot of crime and disorder.

Last February, nearby chicken shop Kays in The Cross had its call to open until 5am rejected by the council over fears it would add further to crime and disorder in the city centre.

Jaqk’s opened in 2017 and was recently hit with a two-star rating for hygiene, a week after receiving the lowest zero rating.

Owner Aqeel Mohammed declined to comment.