Our 13th National Conference was held at The Mecure St Paul’s Hotel, Sheffield, where a total of 186 delegates attended. Delegates received updates on specific topical issues, were able to share ideas and good practice with other delegates and take home tasks which consider suitable for discussion with their colleagues and partner agencies. Those present received a comprehensive delegate pack.
Representatives from Pubwatches, Local Authority Trading Standards and Licensing Departments, Community Safety Officers, Police Forces, Association of Town and City Centre Managers, Chambers of Commerce, licensing trade associations, pub companies, training companies, the legal profession, a relevant Government Department, some charities and others attended.
• Steve Baker, Chair, National Pubwatch
• Chief Constable David Crompton, South Yorkshire Police
• Nigel Williams, Regional Chair, British Institute of Innkeeping and former Chair of Sheffield Pubwatch
Two separate awards were again presented to individuals. They were:
• the National Pubwatch ‘Award of Merit’, in recognition of work carried out in support of a local Pubwatch and
• the ‘Malcolm Eidmans Award’, in memory of our former Secretary
Delegates were also able to attend two Breakout Sessions:
• Data Protection and Legal Issues, facilitated Nigel Connor, J D Wetherspoon and Gary Grant, Barrister.
Nigel outlined how to run a compliant Pubwatch under the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1968. The Act contains eight protocols and the Information Commissioner has various powers to deal with non compliance. Sharing images of banned persons who have a criminal record is not a breach because it is legitimate to keeping those premises safe/prevent crime and disorder. Consider joining Pubwatch On-Line, an independent initiative, who have many Pubwatches using their system. Please be aware that data subjects have a right to some of the information held and it is advisable not to ignore such requests. For police to share such photographs with a Pubwatch, they will require a joint Information Sharing Agreement. Some police forces are drawing back from such participation for fear of a breach. It is very important that this is strongly challenged with the force concerned. Gary gave a legal roundup on some current legal issues. These included the potential consequences for employing illegal immigrants, Reviews on Premises Licenses, Minimum Pricing Units, an interesting licensing appeal, TENS, the Policing and Crime Bill and Bingo in Pubs.
• Protecting Vulnerable People, facilitated by Andrew Pyott, Barnados, PCs Jo Bowles and Karen Healey, West Midlands Police and Brian Arnott and Hannah Simtin, Street Pastors.
Andrew addressed the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation in the Night-Time Economy, where Barnados are working with vulnerable children in twelve areas across the UK. He outlined the four stages of grooming – Targeting, Friendship Forming, Loving Relationship and Absolute Relationship. Such grooming often happens within the night-time economy. Barnados are developing training, advice and support for the licensing trade, so that licensees can identify how to manage the risks these children face and display their ‘due diligence’.Jo and Karen introduced delegates to a range of new psychoactive substances – legal highs. They created a training package in Coventry, a city which includes two universities. Most of these substances are currently lawful and are synthetic versions of all Class A and Class B illegal drugs. They can be bought ‘on-line’, from some market traders and at ‘head’ shops, many of which are those that sell the substances smoked in bubble pipes. They introduced the names of several substances and explained that some can be purchased in attractive packages, sometimes sold next to sweets. Others are sold under the pretence of being another item. On a positive note, from 6th April 2016 the sale of most of these substances will become illegal with the local Trading Standards Departments becoming responsible for prosecutions. However, possession will not be illegal.Brian and Hannah are Street Pastors, being Christian volunteers within the umbrella establishment, the Ascension Trust. They number 13/14,000, widely cover the UK, receive training and a uniform and often work on a Friday or Saturday evening. They endeavour to ensure that people coming out of pubs and clubs get home safely and carry water, first aid kits, lollipops, hand warmers, sick bags and flip flops. The latter item is intended for females who wear high heeled shoes when under the influence of alcohol. Hannah is a member of the Westminster scheme, where National Pubwatch is sponsoring one street pastor, monitoring their activities, particularly their liaison with the local Pubwatch.
The 14 display stands present comprised our sponsors, national organisations, training companies, legal profession, trade and local initiatives. One of these included five voluntary groups. All displays were well attended by delegates.
The committee again wish to thank all the sponsors for supporting this conference. They include the British Beer and Pub Association, Stonegate Pub Company, J D Wetherspoon, Diageo, Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns, Deltic Group, Fullers, McMullen, The British Institute of Innkeeping, Unite The Union and Dadds Solicitors. We would also like to thank the speakers, Breakout Session facilitators and all the other contributors for sharing their knowledge, passion and expertise. Additionally, we thank the staff at The Mecure St Paul’s Hotel for their assistance, support and expertise in ensuring the smooth running of this conference. Finally, we wish, of course, to thank all the delegates who attended.
As chair of National Pubwatch, Steve welcomed all present and thanked our sponsors, supporters and delegates, commenting that all present complement each other’s work. He highlighted the strength of our organisation and mentioned that next year will be our 20th anniversary. Whilst there are now hundreds of Pubwatch schemes across the UK, they can not perform their role without support from their local agencies – so please continue these partnerships. He then took the opportunity to promote our next annual Diageo National Pubwatch Award, which will be open to applications in April.
As the local Chief Constable, he opened this Conference, stating that Pubwatch is very important. He explained his experiences as a younger officer and how it has changed. He then stated that it is very important that the night-time economy is managed, particularly as the demand on police resources is now very challenging.
He also spoke on behalf of the National Police Chiefs Council (formerly the Association of Chief Police Officers), explaining that alcohol is often involved in sexual offences, violent crime, domestic abuse, child abuse and disorder. Pubwatch is therefore very important as it involves a range of support agencies and enlists community support. There are a number of positive drink-related initiatives undertaken by Pubwatches, which is a very successful brand. It has stood the test of time, is popular and delivers. He expressed that many serious incidents have not happened because of Pubwatch.
As the local Regional Chair of the British Institute of Innkeeping, Nigel spoke of his local experiences where he has resided and worked in the pub business for many years. He explained who the BII are and what they do. They have over 9,000 members. There are about 50,000 pubs, with 85% being community or rural. Demands are changing, such as accommodation, breakfasts, teas/coffees, meals, websites re tourism and charity events. Pubs are at the heart of communities, being vibrant small businesses and are the ambassadors for Britain. The industry works with the Government, local police and local authorities to tackle alcohol misuse and these partnerships are continually developing. As the former Chair of Sheffield Pubwatch for ten years, he engaged in these partnerships but, due to cutbacks/cuts in the budgets of partners, it has become increasingly difficult to work together.
Following requests from delegates at this year’s conference, with the kind permission of Nigel Connor and Gary Grant, the attached presentations are now available for viewing.
This ‘Award of Merit’ is now in its seventh year. It is given to those people who National Pubwatch feel have demonstrated exceptional commitment to their local scheme. Two trophies were presented this year to by Chief Constable David Crompton.
The Award of Merit was given to:
Alan Graham – Chair of Droylsdon Pubwatch.
For more information see http://www.nationalpubwatch.org.uk/pubwatch-awards/pubwatch-award-of-merit/#alangraham
A regional award in the form of a commendation was given to:
Richard Goodchild – Co-ordinator of Shrewsbury Pubwatch
The Malcolm Eidmans Award, now in its fourth year, is in memory of our former Secretary, and is given to a member of police staff who has demonstrated considerable commitment to supporting local Pubwatch schemes. The trophy was presented this year to one person by Chief Constable David Crompton.
Nick Semper – West Mercia Police Inspector.
For more information see http://www.nationalpubwatch.org.uk/pubwatch-awards/police-staff/
The number of completed evaluation forms collected was 81, the same as last year. All feedback is reviewed carefully as it assists us to measure the value of the content and organisation of each Conference and helps us to include relevant topics within the next one.