National Pubwatch Conference, Oxford Street, Manchester Tuesday 18th March 2014
Our 11th National Conference was held at The Palace Hotel, Oxford Street, Manchester. A total of 237 delegates attended this conference, the theme of which was ‘Protect and Promote Your Pubwatch Through Partnership Working’. Delegates were given the opportunity to become updated on a range of relevant topics, share ideas and good practice with other delegates and take home tasks which they may wish to discuss 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, licensing trade associations, pub companies, training companies, the legal profession, relevant Government Departments, some charities and others attended.
- Steve Baker, Chair, National Pubwatch
- Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy, Greater Manchester Police
- Chief Constable Adrian Lee, Northants Constabulary and Licensing Lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers,
- Mark Baird, Head of Industry Affairs & Alcohol Policy, Diageo Pub Company
Two separate awards were presented to individuals. They were:
- the ‘National Pubwatch Outstanding Contribution Award’, in recognition of work carried out in support of a local Pubwatch and
- the ‘Malcolm Eidmans Award’, in memory of our former Secretary who sadly died in recognition of the contribution a member of the police service has given to Pubwatch
Delegates were also able to attend two Breakout Sessions:
- How to Protect Your Pubwatch from Legal Challenges and Other Threats, facilitated by Chief Inspector John Egerton, Greater Manchester Police and Stephen Walsh QC – Presentation 1 Presentation 2
- How Engaging in Partnership Working Helps Promote Your Pubwatch, facilitated by Liz Gaffer – Licensed Trade Charity Support and Care, Inspector Nick Semper and Dan Guerche – Hereford HAND Pubwatch Diversion, Rita King – Portman Group and Andy Parsons – Home Office Drugs and Alcohol Unit >Liz Gaffer presentation
HAND Pubwatch Diversion & Supplement
Rita King presentation
Andy Parsons presentation
The 19 display stands present comprised our sponsors, national organisations, trade and local initiatives. This comprehensive coverage was very well received 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, the British Institute of Innkeeping and Dadds Solicitors. We would also like to thank the speakers, Breakout Session facilitators and all the other contributors for sharing their knowledge and expertise. Additionally, we thank the staff at The Palace Hotel 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, Steve welcomed all present and thanked our sponsors and supporters. He encouraged continued partnership working, stating that this created a strong foundation for other wider schemes. He introduced the new Social Responsibility Alliance, of which National Pubwatch is a member with other similar partners. He also stated that well run Pubwatches are the alternative to Late Night Levies and Early Morning Restriction Orders.
He also announced the launch of the third National Pubwatch Award, again sponsored by Diageo which is open to applications between 8th April and 18th July. The Award will be held at a Parliamentary reception in October.
Sir Peter Fahy
Peter welcomed delegates to Manchester and explained that, despite budget cuts, this city had a huge night time economy. He expressed great support for Pubwatches and similar initiatives, most of which liase closely with neighbourhood officers.
Adrian outlined that the Association of Chief Police Officers are not anti alcohol but are anti to the harm it can cause. He explained that licensed premises are an important part of building communities. The current key issues police are facing are a changed market; pre-loading; cheap alcohol in the off trade; binge drinking; crime – violent, sexual and anti-social behaviour; excessive tolerance to unacceptable behaviour.
He supported the Portman Group’s gold/silver/bronze tiered standards for retailers, Best Bar None, Pubwatch and PASS (the Proof of Age Standards Scheme). He then restated the Crime Prevention Minister’s recent statement that the UK drinks industry have been ordered to produce plans to tackle the sale and promotion of cheap super strength beers. He added that we as a society have been too tolerant of unacceptable behaviour with Pubwatch leading the way in combating it. It is a fact that premises with high standards in retailing have less violence within them. Educating influential people, such as councillors on the licensing committees and magistrates, is also very important.
In relation to PASS, there have been challenges to its use because several styles are in existence. However, PASS has recently agreed to adopt one new style scheme, which is supported by both ACPO and the Home Office. He requested much wider support for this new scheme, which will be launched in May. All premises should then have full confidence with it.
He mentioned that twenty Local Alcohol Action Areas have been recently announced by the Government. They have three objectives – tackling alcohol-related crime and disorder; reducing related health harm; working with the over 25’s.
As Head of Industry Affairs & Alcohol Policy at Diageo, Mark expressed strong support for Pubwatch. His company actually sponsors the annual National Pubwatch Awards. He outlined that, despite alcohol consumption and under-age drinking falling, too many people drink too much too often. Diageo have a strategy that covers under age drinking, binge drinking and health harms. He gave examples of several initiatives, including youth diversionary programmes which embrace some schools, such as raising awareness of the potential risks and fines surrounding proxy sales and outreach work. Additionally, within the night time economy he gave examples of working with Pubwatches and other similar groups, including access to free water, sponsoring taxi marshals, involvement with street pastors and efforts to combat unlicensed taxi cabs. The social media is also assisting to raise such awareness. Even a number of universities have been receiving information on alcohol awareness.
He also explained that, for the over 25’s, Diageo has been involved with each Premier Rugby Club, including with its players. Training is also offered to midwives and work is taking place with the Liver Trust.
This Outstanding Contribution Award, now in its fifth year, is given to those people who National Pubwatch feel have demonstrated exceptional commitment to their local scheme. The trophy was presented this year to one person by Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy, Greater Manchester Police.
Alan Dove–Bournemouth Town Watch. Alan is the Commercial Manager of the Student Union and the operator of the universities bars and night club at The Old Fire Station in Bournemouth Town Centre, a 1500 capacity venue. For more information see Pubwatch Award of Merit
The Malcolm Eidmans Award, now in its second year, is in memory of our former Secretary who sadly died in 2012, 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 Sir Peter Fahy, Greater Manchester Police.
Richard Higgin – Cumbria Police. Sergeant Richard (Dusty) Higgin has been the liaison officer involved with Carlisle City Pubwatch Scheme for the past 10 years. He has attended every single meeting, bar one, during this period, even when off duty and giving freely of his own time. For more information see Malcolm Eidmans Award
The Panel was facilitated by a National Pubwatch Committee member. Some speakers and Breakout Session presenters were still present and fielded questions from the floor. These included that it was considered unwise for licensees to publicise names (and photographs) of banned persons within and outside their premises for any member of the public to see. It was also mentioned that the current Drink Banning Orders are now under review by the Home Office.
The number of completed evaluation forms collected was 124, an excellent return. It is always very helpful for us to receive feedback from delegates in order to ensure each conference is very useful to them. We constantly endeavour to include a range of relevant and current topics that will be interesting to all who attend