Pubwatch bars and clubs pay £1,000 for security patrols in Huddersfield town centre

Cross Church Street, Huddersfield

3/4/18: Huddersfield town centre bar and club pilot idea to make area safer for revellers at night was a hit over Easter

More than 10 clubs and bars are buying in their own security patrols at £1,000 a time in a bid to reduce violence in Huddersfield town centre.

The chairman of Huddersfield Pubwatch, Mark Hollingsworth, who runs Five Bar in Cross Street, one of the worst affected streets, said he was pleased with a pilot trial over the Easter weekend.

The Bank Holiday saw two teams of two marshals hired to patrol from 11pm-6am on Saturday and Sunday and help keep revellers safe.
Bars involved are: the Camel Club, The Warehouse, lap dancing club Cleopatra’s Lounge, Verve Bar, Tokyo, The Zetland, The Parish, Revolution, Mavericks nightclub, Five Bar and the University of Huddersfield.

Mr Hollingsworth, who has been running Pubwatch for the last three years, said: “The situation in the town centre on a weekend has been getting worse and it’s been escalating over the years.

“We are past the stage of getting cross about it and decided we needed to actually do something practical.

“What we are doing is trying to safeguard our customers. We don’t want people not to come into the town centre and enjoy themselves.

“The idea is that they patrol the town centre and if they see anything they use Apex Police radios – commonly used by Pubwatch and Shopwatch schemes across the country – to the town centre CCTV people who monitor the area.

“The people we are using are accredited door staff and we hope that whenever possible they will be able to intervene early on before it becomes a problem.

“It seems to have worked really well this weekend with the teams intervening in a couple of incidents and the more bars and clubs we can persuade to come on board the better it will be.

“We would love to run it on a more regular basis but it’s expensive at getting on for £100 for each establishment.”

The outcome of the trial run will be discussed at the next meeting of the Pubwatch at Huddersfield University on Wednesday, April 18.

Huddersfield town centre police inspector James Kitchen has welcomed plans by bars and pubs to club together to fund extra private security patrols.

Insp Kitchen said: “The Pubwatch scheme is a fantastic asset to Huddersfield town centre, which supports the local policing plan.

“Marshals were first used, successfully, over the Christmas period, in conjunction with the police and Kirklees Council. This initiative over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend has been funded by the local bars and clubs themselves.

“This Bank Holiday weekend, we had a significant police presence in the town centre and I’m pleased to report there were no significant reports of disorder or violence.

“We, as the local Neighbourhood Policing Team for Huddersfield, welcome any support to work in partnerships with local businesses to make Huddersfield a safe and vibrant place for members of the community.

Story and photograph courtesy of the Huddersfield Daily Examiner