Police and pubs unite to stem violence

LANDLORDS and police in Leiston are today teaming up to try to stem a further increase in violence in the town.They are relaunching its Pubwatch scheme to make the town a safe and welcoming place for people wanting to enjoy a night out.

LANDLORDS and police in Leiston are today teaming up to try to stem a further increase in violence in the town.

They are relaunching its Pubwatch scheme to make the town a safe and welcoming place for people wanting to enjoy a night out.

Latest statistics show that violence and drink-fuelled disorder in the town has risen by 27 per cent in the past year.

The Suffolk Coastal Crime Reduction Partnership said there had been 104 incidents in the past 12 months compared with 82 the previous year and it was hoped the Pubwatch plan would curb the problems.

Pubwatch gives landlords and landladies the chance to build closer working relationships between themselves and with the police and district council to tackle together violence and anti-social behaviour.

Ten pubs in Leiston have so far signed up to the new scheme and organisers say it is already having positive effects, including closer working relationships between officers and licensees.

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Insp Ian Moore of Leiston police said the aim was to keep the town a safe place.

He said: "Pubwatch is a way of formalising relations between establishments and the police so we can work together to give a clear message that violent and anti-social behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated."

"The initiative also provides the framework for schemes, such as a 'ban from one, ban from all' policy, which have worked successfully elsewhere."

Landlord of the Royal Standard, Dave Montgomery said the scheme had already increased communication between licensees in the town and meetings would now be held regularly.

"We thought it was a good idea that we all get together. With the new licensing laws coming into force soon we want to work together and form a strong unit that can deal with any problems if they arise," he said.

"I have previously been involved in similar schemes elsewhere and they can be very effective, providing support to licensees and the security of knowing that any troublemakers can be banned.

"This in turn provides customers with the knowledge they can enjoy a drink in safe and welcoming premises."

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