Scrapped Pubwatch scheme is revived

The Dickens on Princess Road, Cleveleys


A landlord hopes pub patrons will soon be able to drink in peace thanks to a new Pubwatch scheme planned for Cleveleys.

The community-led Pubwatch would see anyone who is caught fighting or taking drugs in one Cleveleys venue slapped with an instant ban for all other pubs in the area.

The scheme replaces a similar one in the town that was scrapped two years ago. Paul Bowker, 41, landlord of The Dickens on Princess Road, said: “Cleveleys, while it’s not rough by any means, has seen a bit of a rise in drunken disorder over the last four or five weeks”.

“There’s quite a lot of places talking about it. “I have proposed that we are strict when it comes to drugs and violence. If you catch someone doing drugs or fighting, they’re gone”.

“Anything else, like minor disagreements, is down to the discretion of the pub owner and Pubwatch committee. The ones who are the worst tend to be repeat offenders.”

“Sometimes there are certain people you know aren’t just out for a drink, they’re looking for trouble. “

“The Cleveleys Pubwatch folded two years ago. The problem was we used to get a photograph of everyone who was barred from the police. Now due to data protection the police have stopped that. Some councils allowed it to carry on, but it stopped round here.”

“This is something we will have to bring up, because just by name you can’t recognise people.”

As well as The Dickens, Cleveleys Working Men’s Club on Slinger Road; the Wings Social Club; Cleveleys Ex Servicemen’s Club on Victoria Road West and O’Connors Bar on St Georges Lane have expressed interest in signing up for the new scheme.

There will be a meeting with the police licencing officer next week. Paul said: “I think it will be a big help, but everybody will need to be on board. I’d be surprised if they weren’t. It benefits everybody to clamp down on things.

“When I took over The Dickens, I barred probably between 30 and 40 people in 12 months – but the people who drink there week in, week out commented and say they feel safer, which to me is very pleasing.”

Story and photograph courtesy of The Gazette

NPW Editors comment: We are aware that some police forces are unwilling to provide Pubwatch schemes with photographs. However, it’s very clear that the Data Protection Act allows police to share data for a police purpose i.e. the detection or prevention of crime. We can not believe that the Information Commissioners Office would object to the sharing of a photograph of a banned person, if there was a likelihood that the person posed a real risk to the public or a local business.