National Pubwatch Conference, Guildhall, City of London, Tuesday 7th February 2012
The ninth National Conference was held in the Guildhall, City of London and was entitled ‘Duty of Care’. The conference was this year held in association with the London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum. These conferences continue to offer delegates ideal opportunities to hear and also discuss existing current licensing issues relating to reducing crime and disorder both within and in the near vicinity of licensing premises. They also offer participants opportunities to share ideas and good practice with each other. Within this Conference we wished to raise some of the issues licensees may face relating to the forthcoming events to be held between May and September, such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the UEFA European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which includes the UK-wide Torch Relay and the Cultural Olympiad.
Delegates again included representatives from Pubwatches, licensing trade associations and companies, Local Authority Trading Standards and Licensing Departments, Community Safety Officers, Police Forces, Association of Town and City Centre Managers, training companies, the legal profession and relevant Government Departments.
A total of 193 persons attended, which included 16 exhibitors and there were 11 ‘no shows’. Those present received a comprehensive delegate pack.
Unfortunately two of our original speakers, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne and Gus Jaspert, the latter representing the Home Office, were unable to attend at the last minute. We are pleased that the former was able to nominate a colleague to replace him.
- Steve Baker, Chair, National Pubwatch
- Chief Inspector Adrian Studd, Metropolitan Police Service Serious Crime Directorate and Olympic Licensing Lead, on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), assisted by Ian Graham, Chair of the ACPO Licensing Sub-Group
- Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, British Beer and Pub Association
The ‘National Pubwatch Outstanding Contribution Award’, in recognition of work carried out in support of a local Pubwatch was awarded to two individuals.
Delegates were then able to attend two themed Workshops, each having three presentations:
a) Outlining Responses to the Terrorist Threat to the Licensing Community – facilitated by Lee Doddridge, National Counter Terrorism Security Office
b) ‘Drugs at the Door’ and Drugs in the Night-Time Economy – facilitated by David MacKintosh, London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum
c) Dealing the Assaults on Licensing Staff and the Director’s Guidance – facilitated by Christopher Thompson, Crown Prosecution Service
a) Duty of Care, Legal Issues and Safeguarding Your Business – facilitated by barrister Steve Walsh QC
b) Keeping Safe re Hospitality/Tourism/Cross-Border Issues – facilitated by Chief Inspector Colin Green, ACPO/MPS Olympic & Paralympic Policing Coordination Team
c) Reducing the Security Risk – facilitated by Andrew Nicholls, Head of Security, Mitchells and Butlers PLC
The majority of these presentations will be available on here.
The exhibitors again provided a broad range of private and public subject matter related to Pubwatch activities and the hospitality sector, including the Bank of England stand on counterfeit currency and the Dedicated Cheque & Payment Card Unit regarding counterfeit plastic cards.
The committee wish to thank all the sponsors for supporting this conference. They include the British Beer and Pub Association, Stonegate Pub Company and JD Wetherspoons. We would also like to thank the speakers, Workshop facilitators and all the other contributors for giving up their valuable time. Additionally, we thank the staff at the Guildhall for their assistance, support and expertise in ensuring the smooth running of this conference. Finally, we wish to thank all the delegates who attended.
As chair of National Pubwatch, he welcomed all present and thanked our sponsors and supporters. He spoke about the challenges facing the pub trade in 2012 and the opportunities for Pubwatch schemes to be the catalyst for improved partnership working. He outlined the theme and content of this conference and took the opportunity to announce the launch of the new Diageo National Pubwatch Awards which will be held on the 16 May 2012.
Adrian Studd and Ian Graham
Adrian outlined the range of events taking place this year that will have impact on the policing, not least the real and serious danger of terrorist attacks. The current threat level is ‘substantial’. The hostelry sector should to be aware that any incident occurring, whether at an event or not, is likely to impact on licensed premises nearby. A balance has to be struck between these threats and the police maintaining a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. During these events, travel will also become difficult, which includes for both licensing staff and customers and for deliveries. Therefore forward planning, using the TfL website, is very important. The Olympic Games are likely to bring 5 million extra visitors to London, with many also many travelling elsewhere within the UK to some of the events. This will be the biggest peacetime policing event in our history. The security of premises is of extreme importance, with various examples were highlighted. Delegates were also referred to the relevant content in one of the Workshops. Door supervision will be in high demand so licensees were advised that no amnesty for unregistered door staff will be allowed. He mentioned several organisations and publications that are there for help and assistance.
Ian explained that ACPO is a professional forum of senior police officers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Members share ideas and good practice, coordinate resources and help deliver effective policing which keeps the public safe. His Sub-Group is part of the ACPO Harm Reduction and Licensing Working Group and informs their members of proposed legislative changes and prepares responses to consultations. He raised a number of licensing issues currently being discussed in Parliament, including proposed changes to the provision of ‘entertainment’ and the Early Morning Restriction Orders and Late Night Levy, giving the police perspective. He concluded that whilst there are cuts in the police budget, working in partnership and the safety of the public are paramount.
In addition to being the Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Brigid is also the Chair of the Tourism Alliance. She explained the role of both organisations, expressed support for National Pubwatch and Pubwatches in general and stated that 2012 is a year of celebration given the forthcoming events taking place this coming summer, as described in the introduction to this report. She gave the example of the vast number of community events taking place across the UK within the Cultural Olympiad and the opportunities these gave to sell Britain, particularly for both the organisations she represents. She gave specific mention to pubs, which have provided a warm welcome to customers for over a thousand years. They will be at the heart of these celebrations, offering a safe and sociable environment and meeting the needs of visitors through food, drink and atmosphere. Some will also be piloting having tourist information within their premises during this period. She acknowledged that the pub sector needs to maintain its current high standards of operation and responsibility and additionally remain vigilant to ensure visitors are aware of our licensing laws and expectations of behaviour. In relation to some of the current proposals being discussed in Parliament, she explained that seventy per cent of alcohol is actually sold in shops, that Noise Abatement Officers have more problems with private parties that the misuse of licensed premises and that the pub industry is actively encouraging young musicians to perform in their premises.
The Outstanding Contribution Award, which is now in its third year, is given to those people who National Pubwatch feel have demonstrated exceptional commitment to their local scheme. The trophies were presented this year by Assistant Chief Constable Frank Armstrong, City of London Police.
Janet Dooner – Has been Chair of Newham Pubwatch, London for over 20 years and currently has 40 members including pubs, clubs and the local theatre. Initially, she was part of a local Pubwatch and organised this to become a borough-wide scheme. Over this period she has generally built up good relations with both the police and the local authority. Her premise is adjacent to the actual Olympic Park in Stratford. When London was awarded these Games, she immediately recognised both the opportunities and the potential problems that were likely to arise to her member premises and has been working tirelessly with partner agencies, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) – the public body responsible for developing and building the new venues and infrastructure for the Games and their use. Awareness of the terrorist threat has featured highly. The nearby large new Westfield Shopping Centre led to similar liaison. More recently, following some disturbances in and near some licensed premises, particularly on ‘match’ days, she formed a Football Pubwatch Sub-Group comprising ten member premises located close to the West Ham United Football ground, in order to address the specific problems that arise.
Miles Standish Murphy – Is Chair of Eastwood and Kimberley Pubwatch, Nottingham. Ten years ago he assisted both areas to become one Pubwatch, which now has 40 premises. Member premises vary from busy Town Centre establishments to charming rural locations. He has regular contact with the Police, Local Authority and other interested parties regarding crime prevention and the night-time economy. About four years ago he suffered heart problems but continued to conduct his Pubwatch duties even whilst in his hospital bed. He even attends Derbyshire Pubwatch meetings across the border from his own area. He was involved in the implementation of the radio scheme that has assisted in reductions in alcohol fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour in the area. About three years ago, Mr Murphy was awarded a Nottinghamshire Police Commendation for his services to Pubwatch and for serving the Community. He was instrumental in developing their website and, more recently, he assisted Nottinghamshire Police implement an Information Sharing and Photo Sharing protocol, where every licensed premises in the area now has a photo album of banned people. More recently he attended a three day Home Office Alcohol Enforcement Seminar training event for Operational Police Officers and other bodies where he was able to provide the perspective from both the licensing trade and Pubwatch.
The Panel was facilitated by Michelle Perrett, the News Editor of the Publican and a National Pubwatch Committee member. Some speakers and Workshop presenters were still present and fielded questions from both Michelle and the floor.
The number of completed evaluation forms collected was 73, although some did not complete all the sections.
We recognise that Pubwatches work in partnership with a variety of organisations. It is a constant challenge for us to ensure that there is always something for everyone who attends these conferences. Thus, we endeavour to include practical examples for practitioners as well a relevant issues for corporate representatives.
It is therefore very helpful for us to receive feedback from delegates, both written and verbal, in order to ensure each conference was very useful to them. These evaluations again proved to be very positive.