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Ipswich: Pioneering bar scheme has drastically cut night-time trouble in town

12:37 28 April 2014

The launch of The Best Bar None scheme last year at The Dove, Ipswich. William Coe, Tim Passmore, Becky Kidd-Stanton, Terry Hunt and David Ellesmere

The launch of The Best Bar None scheme last year at The Dove, Ipswich. William Coe, Tim Passmore, Becky Kidd-Stanton, Terry Hunt and David Ellesmere


Police and community leaders have called on every pub and club in Ipswich to join a pioneering scheme credited for drastically cutting late-night crime and disorder.

Organisers behind Ipswich’s Best Bar None scheme have revealed plans to increase the number of signed-up nightspots to a total of 50 by the end of October.

It comes as new figures show the number of crimes related to late-night revellers has dramatically fallen in the town.

The Best Bar None scheme promotes responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises.

It aims to reduce the harmful effects of binge drinking, highlight the positive effect of bar staff acting with greater responsibility and improve the reputation of towns and cities – making them more desirable places in which to spend a night out.

Some 19 businesses in Ipswich are currently fully-fledged members following assessments, while 15 others have been granted accreditation.

The scheme launched in Ipswich in September 2010. It won national recognition in the first year for being the “most innovative scheme” in the country.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore pleaded for every nightspot to sign up, saying it would be a “utopian situation” if Ipswich had a blanket cover.

“It has been well worth the taxpayers’ money,” he said.

“It has reduced anti-social behaviour and improved the reputation of the town centre, encouraging more people to spend more money and increase jobs.

“Ipswich is leading the way and maybe other parts of Suffolk will follow.”

His remarks followed new figures which showed accredited venues have seen a significant drop in night-time related offences.

They fell from 1,446 in 2011 to 1,063 in 2013. Violence with injury (including robbery) dropped from 596 to 402, while disorder fell from 507 to 352.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer urged every nightspot to join, saying: “Crime is falling and targeted 
police action has had a contributory effect.

“Signing up is good business sense. If you have got a well-run establishment then people will feel safe, so I urge anyone who is not a member of this scheme to join.”

Benefits for nightspot owners include free publicity at the Tourist Information Office, free advice and support, and winning recognition in raising standards.

To be awarded accreditation, nightspot owners must prove they have high standards in the prevention of public nuisance, protection of children and health, public safety and prevention of crime and disorder.

The scheme is supported by Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Constabulary and Ipswich Central.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said the scheme has “gone down a storm” with businesses, insisting the scheme was on track to cover 50 nightspots by the end of October.

He said 100,000 people have downloaded an information pack on Best Bar None, while 2,500 read about the scheme on the All About Ipswich mobile phone app.

“It is about encouraging licensed premises to improve the way they handle themselves and their customers; making sure they are treated fairly and are safe,” he said.

“It is about encouraging them to raise their own standards.”

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “Ipswich Best Bar None has been a great success for residents and visitors enjoying pubs and clubs in the evening.

“We now want to recruit more members to join us. There are many benefits for businesses and Ipswich people and that is the message we want to get across.”


  • In fairness its easy to get a plaque.. £45 paid to them and you get one!

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • In a way it's rubbish but it lets us know the BORING PUBS to avoid. When me and my friend Mandy go out on the lash, we avoid these places like the plaque. On another hand, it can help keep all the so-called "trouble makers" in one place where they can be HELPED, or ARRESTED if they get too lairy, and then sent on one of them ASBO-COURSES to make them say the BORING PUBS are good.

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    bigger niche

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • What a load of rubbish. that headline has nothing to do with it. How did groove always win an award? From opening it had heavy police presence up until close, always blue lights flashing in that direction, drunk people in the gutters outside, people throwing up inside, smelly toilets, sticky carpets, people asleep in the corners. If that was a Best Bar, what are the worst?

    Report this comment

    You What

    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • A complete lack of choice. I totally agree with what others are saying. There is no night-life in Ipswich and longer term that is dangerous for the university... why do people have to travel for a night out?! How much is this scheme costing the taxpayer? 34 businesses are involved, only 19 are full members. Why is this? Surely its an all-in or nothing? The statistics of crime are still worrying. Ipswich has lost a few nightclubs over the years, these clubs cause several fold more trouble than any pub. What made me laugh more than anything, surely its easier to write to the few remaining "nightspots" than it is to force them into the scheme? I am not too sure what the incentive is... unless your venue is in the top half you wont win awards... "free advice and support" (for what? "hello I am thinking of serving some really drunk customer who is willing to pay triple the cost for another drink, he shouldn't drink but it will be good for the business. what do I do?" "Refuse him the drink or we will take your licence away") and what good is free pub-licity in the "Tourist Information Office"!? The concept behind the scheme is sound, but if we still had clubs... it would be a completely different story!

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • late 50s early 60s you could get eight pints of red barrell for one pound.and ride a motor bike home.sometimes i am glad i am nearly eighty years old.

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    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • Nightlife in Ipswich ( what is left of it) is too spread out, and too bland- you can't go on a bar crawl, with different atmosphers, music and drink because you have only two choices: commerical pub with nasty beer, nasty food and a nasty atmosphere, or sleasy club with sticky floors and ripped seats. Or you have Issacs, where the bar is 15 deep in people waiting.

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    Sentinel Red

    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • Data - Nail on head. Back in the day we had Double O, Bar Extreme, Bar Fontaine, Liberty's, Bar Extreme, The Attic, Hollywoods, Globalnet, Sound Academy, all independents, all busy, every night they were open and tha's before the University was open. Now you have Liquid and Vodka Revs, two large chain superclubs, with no soul, vibe and stitch up prices. Not forgetting when you go past Vodka revs, there is more Police presence than there would be at a IpswichNorwich game,No wonder the town is dead. I'm just glad when I went our in my younger days I had plenty of choice with prices that were affordable, I pity the youngsters today.

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    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • There is another reason why the 'trouble' has shrunk and that is because of the bus service at night....... most of them run 'hourly' and finish early... here is a couple of examples: 'Number 12 runs 'half-hourly and finishes at 10.52', the 7 and 15 run 'hourly and finish 11pm'.. people can't see the point. The nightclubs are closed because they are hidden away like some seedy backroom place. We should be encouraging people to come to the centre at night, but at present we are 'not driving' people into.. but forcing them to stay away. I believe that 'buses' must be 'allowed' to run regularly and later.. say upto 12am... so that people would feel like going to town at night.

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    Neil Nield

    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • What a ridiculous article. This is just PR to put pressure on other Licensee's. Central Ipswich's Bars generally look run down. The three Weatherspoons all in close proximity have killed of the trade for many other Bar's with their cheap prices. RC is right the town centre from Sunday through to Thursday is dead generally. It is just to expensive and lack of music venues that can accommodate 250-500 people is just a farce. The council need to realise that not everyone wants to go to Regent and sit in a seat. Lack of quirky nightclubs and venues is shocking in Ipswich, grant some licenses. They should be talking about improving choice rather than patting themselves on the back saying how well they have done. For the record I agree with John the Bap as well. What a stitch up.

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    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • RC - you have hit the nail on the head, the town is a ghost town thesedays, I was out on friday and couldn't believe what I saw with the lack of people about, it was bizarre, especially when my memories from the mid 90's meant that the place was buzzing weds - sat night, week in week out. You speak to cabbies and there are barely making ends meet, and life is a struggle. Crime is down to one reason and that is people just don't have the funds to go out anymore. When I was in my late teens places were offering a pound a pint and other offers, these days you have to spend best part of £4 for a drink, that is not affordable. Another point to make is, when I lived in Australia a few years back, I got some bar work, but in order to do it you had to do a 2 day course to obtain a licence, this also meant that if the onus was on the barstaff to make sure people drank responsibly, as opposed to the owners and management. If someone was found to be serving someone far too much booze then they would be fined between 2-4 thousand dollars. This meant that barstaff had to be aware and keep an eye on anyone that was looking too far gone.

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    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • Bar one, the photo looks like a night at the lodge (wink wink)

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    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • An interesting quote is "accredited venues have seen a significant drop in night-time related offences." What about other venues? Have the "night time related offences" simply moved elsewhere in the town? If so then the cost to the taxpayer is now greater than before. It says something about the soft approach to crime in the UK that we have to set up schemes everywhere to reduce (or perhaps just relocate) crime. What's wrong with making people afraid to commit crime, wherever they are.

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    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • Night time trouble has gone down because nobody goes out anymore! 10-15 years ago (when i was around 18) the town was packed every single fri and sat from around 8pm to 3am. When I go out now the town is dead in comparison. People can't afford to go out anymore, they stay at home and drink supermarket alcohol. The reduction in trouble has nothing to do with this smug looking bunch.

    Report this comment


    Monday, April 28, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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