Safety campaign gathers momentum

MORE than 30 Ipswich bars, pubs and clubs under the banner of Barwatch today backed Ipswich Police's SMILE campaign.

MORE than 30 Ipswich bars, pubs and clubs under the banner of Barwatch today backed Ipswich Police's SMILE campaign.

The Safety Makes Ipswich Life Enjoyable initiative was launched last week and is a partnership between police and other organisations, which is supported by The Evening Star.

Today licensees said they were pleased to give their support to help reaffirm that the town is a place where revellers can enjoy themselves, confident of a trouble-free night out.

Although the SMILE campaign is aimed at reinforcing this message, police have stressed that any troublemakers will still be strongly dealt with.

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Barwatch, which is an amalgamation of Pubwatch and Clubwatch, is expected to play a significant part in the initiative.

By combining these two organisations it is felt the link between licensed premises and the police will be stronger when it comes to tackling yobs.

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Adrian Smith, Barwatch chairman and landlord of The Dove public house in St Helen's Street, said: “The benefit is the communication between people with like-minded businesses. We work very closely with the Ipswich licensing department of the borough council and with local authorities, including the police.

“It gives us better grounds when we do have a minority who want to ruin things for others. These days we have got the power to say they are going to be banned from every licensed premises in Barwatch, but it is not something we do lightly.

“As an organisation we are able to say we are not going to tolerate that person in our premises and get them banned for a period that is long enough for them to mend their ways.

“We won't tolerate attacks on our premises, our bar staff or our customers and will pull together by sharing information.

“I fully support the SMILE campaign and we should be encouraging it.”

Mr Smith added most of the town centre pubs, bars and clubs have now signed up to Barwatch, and the organisation is continuing to encourage new members from the outskirts of the Ipswich.

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