Police fear glass could be ‘used as a weapon’ on i360

i360  (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)
i360 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

Sussex Police has opposed a bid by the i360 to allow drinks to be served in glass on the seafront attraction – over fears for public safety.

The British Airways i360 has asked the council if it can change a number of its licensing conditions, including to allow alcohol to be served in glass instead of plastic on the i360 pod.

But the application to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Licensing Panel has seen resistance from Sussex Police and residents’ groups.

Writing to the panel about allowing drinks to be served in glass on the i360 pod, Insp Di Lewis, a licensing and response inspector from Sussex Police, said: “Sussex Police feel this could increase the potential for crime and disorder and reduces public safety as any person despite their age or demographic could use a broken glass as a weapon while in the pod.

“Care is taken to remove knives and sharp implements from the public when entering the pod and the introduction of glass drinking vessels could increase the risk of injury to the public as they could be used as a weapon if broken.

“The applicant has not stated how health and safety will be managed in the pod should there be a breakage or injury to a member of the public.”

The i360 said: “We currently retail for consumption from our Sky Bar on the pod - Brighton Gin, Nyetimber sparkling wine and Harveys Beer.

“These products are currently sold in polycarbonate glasses and visitors are not permitted to receive the bottle due to the ‘no glass’ rule. We would like to change this condition to allow us to serve products in glasses.

“The demographic of our visitor is in the main, family and more mature and we therefore feel this group able to act appropriately.”

The attraction has also asked that visitors buying drinks on the pod will be able to finish them in other areas of the beach building – which is not currently permitted.

And the i360, which can serve alcohol to visitors having a meal in its restaurant the West Beach Bar & Kitchen, is also asking that people can buy a drink without a meal.

It said: “The area contains a very well-proportioned bar and is in the centre of the space creating a large area capable of serving customers who are not seated and allowing them to drink within the bar area, restaurant or terraces.”

But Debbie Gibson-Leigh, chair of Brighton Old Town Local Action Team (LAT), said the group opposes ‘vertical drinking’ – standing up and drinking at a bar – at the i360, as it could ‘just turn this venue into another large seafront bar, with the potential of causing further anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance to residents who live along the seafront’.

The application will go before the Licensing Panel at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday (March 28).