Tackling alcohol related crime

Pictured are some of the members of Brechin's Pubwatch scheme alongside Community Liaison Officer Billy Rattray.

Pictured are some of the members of Brechin's Pubwatch scheme alongside Community Liaison Officer Billy Rattray.

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Combating alcohol related crime and disorder has taken one step forward in Brechin after a number of pubs in the area have formed a Brechin Pubwatch Scheme

Pubwatch is a community based crime prevention scheme which is organised by the licensees to afford each other confidence, support and some form of protection.

The object of the scheme is to combat violence and other criminal conduct within licensed premises and it provides a forum for the discussion and solution of such problems.

The establishments that have initially joined the Pubwatch scheme are Bridgend Bar, Victoria Bar, Park Bar, Caledonian Hotel, City Royal, Hudsons and The Stables.

The scheme also enhances communication links between member premises and the local Police.

Community Liaison Officer Billy Rattray explained: “Pubwatch can improve the environment for staff and customers in and around licensed premises, hopefully leading to patrons feeling safer in the knowledge that the premises are members of the scheme.

“Statistics in other towns show a significant decrease in violent offending in pubs where Pubwatch is in operation. I would anticipate and obviously welcome a similar impact in Brechin.

“Regular meetings are held between member premises and the police where individual cases of disorder are discussed.

“The Pubwatch members are then in a position to ban any troublemaker from all member premises for a period of time.

“There is strong initial membership of the scheme with seven premises already signed up. This, of course, means that should an individual be banned by Pubwatch, they will not be welcome in all member premises.

“I am hopeful that more licensed premises in the town may consider joining the scheme, with 100% coverage in the town certainly attainable.

“I view the formation of the scheme as a major step forward in combating alcohol related crime and disorder in Brechin and I applaud the licensees involved for taking this step.”

Chairman of Brechin Pubwatch Scheme, Bill Anderson, who is the licensee at The Victoria Bar, said: “Pubwatch is designed to aid licensed establishments to operate in a safe environment and, as one of the main conditions of holding a licence is ‘protecting the public from harm,’ this scheme will further support that condition.

“We hold our meetings on the last Sunday of each month at 7.30 pm at The Northern Hotel and I extend a warm welcome to all licensed premises in Brechin to enter this scheme.”

Any premises who wants to join the scheme should contact Bill at The Victoria Bar, Montrose Street, Brechin.