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Instant ban for unruly drinkers

PUBLISHED: 14:42 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:49 03 July 2010

INITIATIVE LAUNCH: From left, Insp Nick Cheshire, PC Gary Pettengell and Mike Butcher

INITIATIVE LAUNCH: From left, Insp Nick Cheshire, PC Gary Pettengell and Mike Butcher

Laura Bagshaw

TROUBLESOME drunks caught playing up in the borough's pubs and clubs will face an instant ban under a new hard-hitting scheme which aims to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.

Laura Bagshaw

TROUBLESOME drunks caught playing up in the borough's pubs and clubs will face an instant ban under a new hard-hitting scheme which aims to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.

Unruly drinkers will be shown the red card banning them on the spot as part of a revised Nightsafe scheme where licensed premises will work closely together to rid the night-time economy of undesirable customers. The scheme starts this weekend.

Profiles and pictures of drunken louts who play up will be instantly uploaded to a secure website - accessible to all premises signed up to the scheme - with the aim of excluding troublemakers from all licensed premises, to reduce alcohol related crime.

The initiative, launched on Tuesday, has been dubbed Yarmouth's modern day Crimestoppers - a scheme launched in the town during the 1980s which facilitated the anonymous reporting of crime and which subsequently went national.

Mike Butcher, who owns Marine Parade nightclub the Long Bar, has spearheaded the re-launch of Nightsafe alongside PC Gary Pettengell from Norfolk Police.

He said the revised Nightsafe was probably the most exciting private public sector partnership crime reduction initiative since the introduction of CCTV in the town.

Mr Butcher said: “This scheme will not only allow licensed premises to instantly deal with unacceptable behaviour, but will enable that information to be shared with all licensed premises that sign up to the scheme. It will further allow other organisations that can indirectly be affected by alcohol or drug related violence, such as, the police, paramedics, hospital A&Es etc, to access the password protected system.”

It is the only scheme of its kind in the country and Mr Butcher believes the format could be rolled out nationally.

Under the old Nightsafe scheme, launched by Norfolk Police in 2004, a ban would only come into force following a successful prosecution and a subsequent decision by the banning committee, a process too drawn out according to Mr Butcher.

Representatives from pubs, clubs, off-licences and door supervisors attended the launch at the Novus Centre in Yarmouth where PC Pettengell explained the website will be administered by non-profit organisation he established called empowering-communities.org.

Premises signed up to Nightsafe will display a logo, and an exclusion order form will be filled in by a member of staff if a customer causes problems. The customer will be handed a red card explaining they have been banned, ordering them to leave the premises. If possible a photograph will also be

taken and details passed to police.

Nightsafe already had 10 establishments signed up and the James Paget University Hospital is considering joining so people who cause trouble in casualty could be banned from pubs and clubs as a result.

Mr Butcher is now calling on all licensed premises across the borough to join the scheme.

To find out more about joining the Nightsafe scheme email Mr Butcher at mike@longbar.co.uk.


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