Shropshire-wide Pubwatch scheme launched
Having a night out in Shropshire will soon be safer than ever following the introduction of a countywide Pubwatch initiative.
The move means offenders can be banned from every pub in the scheme, with organisers calling for more towns to get involved.
Shrewsbury, Telford, Newport and Oswestry have joined the Shropshire-wide Pubwatch so far, and James Hitchin, Shrewsbury Pubwatch chair and Purple Flag partner, said the partnership was a positive way to improve safety for everyone.
“Having a countywide scheme is beneficial to all towns taking part and will work towards a strong night-time economy across Shropshire," he said.
“Shrewsbury has achieved Purple Flag status - a national accreditation to raise standards of night-time management in town centres - and is working hard to maintain that level.
“We hope that by creating this joined-up approach to Pubwatch across the county that every town in the scheme will benefit from a safer night-time experience.
“It’s fantastic that we already have four towns on board, and the more that join the scheme, the more effective a deterrent it will be."
The idea will be that individual local Pubwatches will bring nominated repeat or particularly violent offenders to the Shropshire-wide Pubwatch group every two months to be put forward for individual bans within each Pubwatch group.
Each group can then issue their own ban from participating venues in their town.
He added: “It makes a lot of sense for information to be shared between towns, because if someone is banned from pubs in their own town they can easily travel to a neighbouring town instead and drink there.
“A Shropshire-wide Pubwatch will stop that from happening, so we are hoping more towns will join the scheme.
“Ideally we would like to get to the position when every town and village in Shropshire is involved, which would make a night out in any venue even more safe and enjoyable than it already is.”
Trevor Pepper, of National Pubwatch, praised the Shropshire-wide initiative.
He said: “National Pubwatch fully supports a Shropshire-wide Pubwatch scheme. It shows that Shropshire is dedicated to providing a safe secure environment for an enjoyable experience visiting licensed premises across the county.
“Pubwatch is not just about banning people, it’s very much about the licensed trade working together to create a safe atmosphere for people to enjoy, and to increase footfall and promote a strong business community.”
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