'Banned from one, banned from all' - pubs crack down on troublemakers with new 'barwatch' system
Rowdy behaviour in one pub could lead to troublemakers being banned from all Ipswich bars and clubs under a tough new system to clamp down on anti-social behaviour.
"Barwatch" has been launched to allow drinking establishments to share information digitally about bad behaviour with each other, as well as police, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central, the business improvement district (BID) representing firms in the town.
Ipswich Central, which has supplied the new system to pubs and clubs, said: "A banned from one, banned from all will resonate throughout the licensed premises in Ipswich."
Ady Smith, from The Dove Street Inn, said: "As a group of responsible licensees, we are keen to work together to ensure the safety of everyone including our staff.
"By working together alongside the constabulary, licensing and agencies, we can minimise and hopefully eradicate the few that can cause issues and remove them from our town.
"Communication is vital to ensure this can happen and the new DISC system from Ipswich Central will enable us to do so.
"Sharing information faster, more efficiently and banning people that persist to cause problems will make a better atmosphere at night in Ipswich."
Sophie Alexander, BID manager at Ipswich Central, added: "We're really excited to be providing this new system for night-time economy businesses in Ipswich.
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"This important development might seem like a small change, however we're confident that by working together we can help create a better evening atmosphere in Ipswich for all."
Despite the crackdown, pub and club managers have been keen to stress that Ipswich is generally a safe place to have a night out.
Ipswich has "Purple Flag" status, a national accreditation given to town centres judged to provide a safe and enjoyable night out.
Will Hodge, manager of Unit 17 in Ipswich, said ahead of Christmas that he was "really pleased with the relationship between licensing bodies, the police and council" and the "level headed approach to taking action".
He added: "I think Ipswich is generally a really safe place to come out.
"I've worked in a few towns and cities, where there are high levels of disorder in high streets.
"It's better than a lot of the places I've seen - even on nights considered public order priorities."
Premises which would like to be part of Barwatch should email Ipswich Central for more details.