Pubwatch initiative provides safer drinking environment for punters
Main article content
A local ‘pubwatch’ initiative between Leicestershire Police and eight local public houses has seen a significant drop in the amount of alcohol related crime and disorder in the Blaby district area since its launch at the beginning of 2019.
During 2018, there were 31 violent incidents reported in pubs around Blaby, Whetstone and Glen Parva, which ranged from grievous bodily harm (GBH), actual bodily harm (ABH), public order offences and criminal damage.
Since then, the number of violent or alcohol related crime and disorder has reduced to 23 in 2019. This has been achieved through a consistent way of working adopted through the scheme, allowing greater information sharing, more effective partnership working and a zero tolerance approach to individuals or groups with the intent on causing harm and ASB, through the use of banning notices.
The independent group was set up in December 2018 by landlady, Georgia Page of the Fox and Tiger in Blaby, after the number of alcohol related disturbances taking place. In a bid to make improvements, Georgia enlisted the support of other local pub owners, who had also found themselves in a similar position.
Pubwatch schemes are local, independent groups formed by people working in licensed premises. The aim is to tackle and prevent anti-social behaviour and criminal activity, improve communication between licensees and promote safe drinking environments for staff and customers.
PC Thomas Longden from Leicestershire Police sits on the committee and has met the landlords every six weeks since its inception in December 2018. The joint approach between both the police and local landlords enables them to successfully work together in tackling these crimes.
He said: “Towards the backend of 2018 I was approached by Georgia who wanted to improve relations between her pub and the Local Policing Team.
“She wanted to find a solution to deal with a small number of individuals who were having an adverse effect on the business. It was then decided that a pubwatch scheme would be the most appropriate option moving forward and within a matter of weeks we were up and running and have not looked back ever since.
“I would like to take this opportunity to personally praise the hard work and professionalism that Georgia displays. She has a real passion for wanting to make Blaby and its surrounding areas a safer place to drink and socialise for all.”
Georgia Page of the Fox and Tiger pub in Blaby said: “The pubwatch scheme has been a huge success at reducing trouble in the area and making our local pubs a more enjoyable place to visit.
“A big thank you to PC Thomas Longden and all the local pubs for their commitment and support to this project.”