Police have threatened to clamp down on Halloween high spirits in Dundee amid fears hundreds of students could bring chaos to city streets.
Dundee University Students’ Association wants party-goers to be allowed to drink alcohol as they queue outside for its annual Halloween fancy dress event.
The association has applied to Dundee City Licensing Board for permission to create an outside licensed area at the union in Airlie Place.
Police Scotland has objected to the application over fears for student safety and concern over their behaviour. In a letter to the licensing board, a police spokesman said the application could lead to around 200 students drinking alcohol on the street outside while queuing to get into the party.
The letter adds that police are also concerned for the safety of students attending the party.
It reads: “It is unclear within the application where queuing patrons will purchase their alcoholic drinks from and whether patrons would be allowed to bring their own beverages into the area.
“This could potentially lead to persons bringing and consuming alcohol concealed in other bottles.”
The police letter adds that the queue would be difficult to police — possibly leading to a decrease in the safety of everyone in the area.
DUSA president Tim Hustler said its ‘legendary’ Halloween fancy dress party had been one of its most successful annual events over the past 13 years.
He said: “It has become one of our keystone events in our calendar and has sold out days in advance for the last five years.”
He said it attracted 3,000 students on an annual basis and is also open to students from Abertay University and Dundee and Angus College.
Because it is so busy, both of the union’s nightclub venues fill to capacity, he said.
He added that the association wants to be able to use an extended “chill-out” area outside, which would be licensed from 10pm until 3.30am.
Mr Hustler said: “This would allow a 200-capacity queue for our main venue and would be the most viable solution to allow patrons to queue outside the main front door without having to remove their drinks from them.”
This would prevent the internal area becoming overcrowded and by being allowed to drink there it would stop people “downing their drink in one” to avoid leaving it behind.
He added: “It is also an opportunity for customers to cool down outside in a well-lit area away from the music and the noise.”
The event would be well policed by nine members of staff, who would vet all customers, he said.
Students are disciplined for disorderly and drunken behaviour and are also referred to student services for and counselling, added Mr Hustler.