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Responsible drinking programmes
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• “Pubwatch”
COUNTRY United Kingdom
TIMING 2001 > Ongoing
THEME
Other

CONTRIBUTOR

  • Diageo
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PARTNER(S)

  • British Beer & Pub Association
  • Stonegate Pub Company
  • Punch Taverns
  • J D Wetherspoon
  • BII
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OBJECTIVE

  • To help achieve a safe, secure and responsibly led social drinking environment in all licensed premises throughout the UK and thereby reduce alcohol-related crime.
  • To act against individuals who cause or threaten damage, disorder, violence, use or deal in drugs in their premises or are a general nuisance.
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DESCRIPTION OF THE INITIATIVE

  • Pubwatch is the licensed trade's equivalent of Neighbourhood Watch.  The main differences are that they are more active and effective than most Neighbourhood Watch Schemes.  Pubwatch schemes have been in existence throughout the UK for over 40 years and range in size from over 200 premises in cities to small rural schemes with as little as 5 premises involved.
  • The basic principle involved in a Pubwatch is that the licensees of the premises involved agree on a number of courses of action against those individuals who cause or threaten damage, disorder, violence, use or deal in drugs in their premises or are a general nuisance.  Normally this action consists of agreeing to refuse to serve individuals that cause, or are known to have previously caused, these sorts of problems.  Having agreed these policies, they then publicise them and stick to them.  The publicity alone can have a very significant effect on such problems but refusing admission and service to those that cause trouble has proved to have a significant impact on anti-social behaviour.
  •  Commitment by all members of the Watch is essential if the scheme is to succeed, as is good and effective communication between them about troublemakers and problems.  Most Watches utilise a communication system, ringing round, pagers or radios to pass on information about people refused entry or ejected for causing trouble.  In this way the problem is excluded and not allowed to go from premises to premises.
  • A number of schemes have widened their activity to set policies about how they will tackle other issues in their area, such as underage drinking, domestic violence and drugs use, if it is a problem.
  •  It can protect staff and customers, preserve and improve value trade and fosters good working relationships with the Police, Local authorities and the Courts.  It costs little except some time and effort with considerable potential for benefit.  It is also a demonstration to these authorities and the local community of the social responsibility of the licensed trade.
  • In 2012, The Diageo National Pubwatch Awards were established to encourage and recognise the work of local Pubwatch schemes throughout the UK and their efforts to provide safe drinking environments for customers and staff.
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IMPACT

  • Police statistics show a significant decrease in violent offenders in pubs where Pubwatch is in operation. In some cases crime and disorder, not just in the premises but in the local area, has reduced by between 20% to 80% where steps have been taken to evaluate the impact of the scheme. The general average is 45-55% reduction.  
  • Pubwatch schemes have been in existence throughout the UK for over 40 years and range in size from over 200 premises in cities to small rural schemes with as little as 5 premises involved.
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