Landlord knocked out and DJ headbutted in town’s drug-related violence spike

20/4/19: Story and photographs courtesy of Derby Live

Pub landlords in Ilkeston are cracking down after an alarming rise in drug-related violence – with the culprits often high on a “lethal” mix of booze and cocaine.

Drug fuelled drinkers have knocked a landlord unconscious and headbutted a DJ in two recent examples of brutality in the town.

The head of Ilkeston’s Pubwatch scheme said customers are more “brazen” in their drug use and seem to think landlords should take it as “part and parcel of everyday life.”

But new Pubwatch rules will mean that anyone who receives a ban for drug offences – barring them from 49 out of 54 pubs in the town and its nearby villages – will see the length of their punishment go from three to five years.

Paul Gaughan, Chairman of Ilkeston and District Pubwatch and former landlord of the Old Malt House said Ilkeston was no worse than many towns across the country.

Paul Gaughan, Chairman of Ilkeston and District Pubwatch, is spearheading a fight against drug-related incidents in local Pubs

However, he said he wanted to tackle the problem to ensure it did not get any worse.

He said: “It’s always been there but people are becoming more open about it”.

“Cocaine is becoming the drug of choice – and when cocaine is mixed with alcohol it’s lethal.”

Ilkeston and District Pubwatch banned almost twice as many punters for drug-related incidents in 2018 compared to the year before – a jump from  six bans to 11.

And in the first quarter of this year alone, nine drinkers have been banned for drug incidents – more than in the whole of 2017.

Mr Gaughan said the worse time for drug-related incidents tended to be late on Friday and Saturday nights, and on Sunday afternoons.

He said: “I would like to see the police being more pro-active with police dugs – but it does cost them a lot of money.”

“We are never going to beat this but at least we can make a stand.”

The Pubwatch scheme is self-funded through subscription payments from pubs. Some pubs are required to join as a condition of their licence and others sign up voluntarily.

Landlords share details of incidents in a WhatsApp group which is monitored from head office- replacing the traditional radio system – and all issues are logged in records which are discussed at quarterly meetings.

Mr Gaughan said Ilkeston was the victim of its own success because it had so many pubs to offer.

He said: “Ilkeston is dragging in people from all around. There’s plenty of choice and loads of bars – It’s good”.

“But that does come with problems, and we do get people from other towns coming in who have been banned elsewhere.”

Inspector Edward Browne, who is responsible for policing Erewash, said his officers undertake special patrols on Friday and Satuirday nights – as well as on bank holidays and around sports fixtures.

He said: “Officers will look to positively deal with any instances of violence or drug-related crime, and aim to spot incidents before they escalate.”

“Safer neighbourhood team officers and licensing officers work with the Pubwatch scheme and local landlords try to ensure that our licensed premises are as safe as possible for everyone.”

“Safer neighbourhood team officers and police licensing officers work with the Pubwatch scheme and local landlords to try and ensure that our licensed premises are as safe as possible for everyone.”

Mr Browne said his team rely on tip-offs from the community when catching drug dealers and appealed for the public’s assistance in putting a stop to the problem.

He said: “Anyone with such information can either speak to an officer, call 101, message us on our website or social media, or report their concerns anonymously to Crimestoppers.”

“This intelligence allows us to take any necessary enforcement action against those involved in the supply of controlled drugs, among other offences.”

Ilkeston and District Pubwatch will hold a meeting of landlords on May 14, with Derbyshire police and Erewash Borough Council, to provide training on how to spot the signs of drug use and how to deal with its associated problems. The meeting will be held at Ilkeston Town  Hall.

NPW Editors Comment: NPW films on Drugs and Pubs, and Crime Scene Preservation can be found on our YouTube link on NPW website.

We are aware of concerns expressed by Information Commissioners office (ICO) in relation to people using WhatsApp to control and process personal information e.g. CCTV images, photographs etc. It is responsibility of anyone Controlling or Processing data to comply with GDPR and DPA 2018. Advice on the issue of Data Protection can be found in the NPW Good Practice Guide. However it might be helpful to re-print a section of a letter sent by ICO to the NABCP in relation to a retailers use of WhatsApp to share images with his staff:

‘Concerns have recently been raised with the ICO around a retailer’s use of WhatsApp to share the personal data of suspected offenders amongst employees’ personal mobile devices. This data included photographs of images viewed on CCTV monitors and additional information about suspects. Following our investigations, we have concluded that the use of WhatsApp and similar platforms on employees’ personal devices in this context is unlikely to comply with the requirements of the DPA, specifically those of the seventh data protection principle.

The seventh principle requires organisations to have implemented appropriate technical and organisational measures for the security of the information they hold, taking into account the nature of the personal data. In order to comply with this, we would expect an organisation to have relevant secure systems in place, such as sharing the images via a secure intranet or using company issued and controlled devices.

It is our view that there would not appear to be appropriate security measures in place once CCTV footage and other images of suspected offenders have been transferred to staff members’ personal mobile devices. Where individuals are using their own personal devices, organisations are unlikely to have any control over the further proliferation or retention of images, be that accidentally or deliberately. As a result of this, we have asked the retailer in question to cease using WhatsApp to share sensitive personal data about suspected shoplifters amongst employees’ personal devices.’