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Busy street in popular UK seaside town descends into booze 'battleground' for clubbers

NewsBusy street in popular UK seaside town descends into booze 'battleground' for clubbers

The seaside town of Scarborough sees its pub and club-packed main strip turning into a “battleground” every weekend.

St Nicholas Street has long been the principal port of call for party-goers thanks to the many watering holes open to the public.

But the area has seen the rate of rowdy and anti-social behaviour roll out of control in recent years.

According to the latest data available on StreetCheck, 315 crimes were committed on the road in April 2023 alone – 98 of which were listed as anti-social behaviour breaches.

The street was crowned as the most dangerous street in the UK in 2019, with StreetScan data showing that 1,794 crimes were reported within a half-mile radius of St Nicholas Street over the year.

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Local Matthew Lawson admitted he is always on the lookout whenever he is out enjoying an evening out on Scarborough’s main strip. 

The 29-year-old chef said his 6″3 height has often attracted the unwanted attention of young lads hoping to prove themselves in front of their mates by confronting a man of his size.

Speaking to Yorkshire Live, Mr Lawson said: “Some nights it can be perfectly fine, just like an average night out. But on some nights, you get idiots and young ones who can’t handle their booze, just constant fights.

“When I come out here, I’m always in the mindset of being ready if anything kicks off. I don’t let it ruin my night but I’m always ready, just in case. It has kicked off a couple of times where I’ve had people try to start fights with me.

“I think it’s because of my size. Normally when you get a group of lads, 18 or 19, who are all smashed out of their heads, they try to find the biggest person and pick a fight. I’m 6”3.

“Don’t act like an idiot. Just don’t do it. It ruins the night. It ruins everyone’s night. They end up in a cell and it’s just not worth the hassle. It’s really not.”

Katie, 20, who works as a customer service operator in the area, says she is not overly concerned about the rowdy behaviour because she knows the area and knows there are bouncers outside every club.

She, however, conceded her boyfriend had sometimes been involved in fights on evening outs. 

Katie said: “There’s usually a lot of drunk people walking around in the road. This is where everyone goes. It probably kicks off every weekend but there are always bouncers on the door.

“I don’t feel ‘unsafe’ here, I wouldn’t go to a big city and feel safe by myself, but I know the place here. My boyfriend has been involved in fights but nothing major.”

Bar manager Jack Cross, 20, has been working on the strip since he was 15 and said businesses work together to keep the rowdiness to a minimum.

Mr Cross said they are a “tight-knit” community and “if there’s a problem, we get it shut down quickly.” He added that staff at his club, Sanctuary, take “every precaution” to ensure people feel safe while enjoying an evening out.

He added: “I think you should go out and be wary of your own actions, the same as you would be wary of everyone else’s. I think alcohol reflects on your personality.

“It brings people out of their shell, but I think people need to be aware of their surroundings. You do see many people who are not in the right frame of mind, some days. You should be very wary of your alcohol intake.”

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