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New research clearly shows the many benefits of pubwatch

On 26/06/13 by Jim Cathcart (Policy Manager - Pub Operations)

As the effective alternative to levies and EMROs, the BBPA supports a number of partnership initiatives. One of the most popular schemes in the pub sector is a local pubwatch – a voluntary group set up by licensees working together to promote a safe drinking environment, in partnership with the police and licensing authority.

However, whilst anecdotal evidence and the general perception in the trade suggested that pubwatches are effective, there had been little statistical work carried out to measure this across the country. With this in mind, National Pubwatch (the voluntary organisation set up to support existing pubwatch schemes and encourage the creation of new schemes) commissioned Leeds Metropolitan University to evaluate the effectiveness of pubwatches.

The headline findings from the report, which received over 1,100 responses, show that the vast majority of local authorities (76%), police (70%) and licensees (70%) believe pubwatch to be contributing to a safer drinking environment in the areas in which they operate.

Councils (71%) and police (67%) also point to a decrease in anti-social behaviour in the wider localities as a result of effective schemes and closer partnership working.

Surveys carried out by Leeds Metropolitan University also found that pubwatch led to closer and more effective partnership working between the licensed trade and key local partners. Licensees (87%), police (92%) and councils (91%) stated they would recommend joining or establishing a Pubwatch to other local licensees and authorities.

The chairman of National Pubwatch, Steve Baker, said: "It is very encouraging that so many local authorities and police, as well as licensees, acknowledge the positive work of Pubwatch. Close partnerships are vital to support local licensed premises and make sure that they are safe and appealing for local people".

With Hartlepool and now Northampton abandoning plans for an EMRO, it is hoped other police and local authorities (such as Blackpool) looking to bring in EMROs take notice of the results of the National Pubwatch research which clearly demonstrates a voluntary, effective and partnership-led way to create safe drinking environments in the pub trade.


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