Pub bans dished out in Oswestry crackdown
Six people have been banned from pubs in Oswestry as part of a crackdown in which landlords are being armed with drug-detecting wipes.
An urgent meeting of pub managers, called following rising problems with drug and drink-fuelled behaviour, was updated on the most recent bans to be put in place.
The meeting was told a three-year ban had been handed out to a man who had threatened a lone female licensee with violence.
Members of Pubwatch also heard two men had been banned from pubs in Oswestry after drug-detecting wipes revealed they had an illegal substance in their possession in a toilet cubicle of a pub. They were banned for 12 months.
Publicans can use the wipes on surfaces in their pubs to determine whether drugs have been used. The wipes change colour if drugs are present.
The wipes are being used by publicans in Oswestry, Market Drayton, Whitchurch and Wem in a bid to tackle recreational drug use, particularly cocaine, in Shropshire's market towns.
It was also revealed today that a man who assaulted a member of staff at a town pub was also barred for three years.
Recent bans have also been dished out to a man who ignored a three-year ban for the second time, resulting in his ban increasing to five years, and a woman who had been stealing from other customers. She was banned for 12 months.
Mayor of Oswestry Paul Milner backed the group's action in tackling problems related to alcohol and drugs in the town.
He said: "Pubwatch and the action taken by the group has many benefits; it helps out police officers with their work but it also ensures people can come to Oswestry and enjoy a safe night out, that's really important because the night time economy is so crucial to the town.
"It also means that licensees are protected too. Every licensee in town should be involved in Pubwatch if they aren't already.
"These bans ensure the wrong sort of clientèle aren't coming into Oswestry's pubs and clubs and causing problems for others."
Since reforming in April 2015, 20 premises in the town have signed up to the Pubwatch initiative, which is backed by the police, Shropshire Council and Oswestry Town Council.
Under the scheme a person who causes problems in one pub will be barred from all 20 premises.
There are currently 23 people in Oswestry banned by the scheme for periods which range from 12 months to 25 years.