Clitheroe Pubwatch scheme hailed a success by police and council

24/1/24: Story courtesy Dominic Collis of Burnley Express

A pub watch scheme in Clitheroe, relaunched since a hiatus during the Covid pandemic, is helping to make the town’s pubs and bars safer and more pleasant places to visit, according to police and publicans.

Clitheroe Pubwatch Group, a partnership between licensess, the police and Ribble Valley Borough Council, has been working hard in recent months to crack down on any bad behaviour in licensed premises.

Clitheroe Pubwatch consists of 27 pubs and clubs that are situated in and around Clitheroe town centre.

The aim of the scheme is for the licensed premises to work together, to ensure that those who visit the hospitality venues in the town, can do so, feeling confident that they can enjoy themselves in a safe environment. Violence, disorder and drug use will not be tolerated and those found to be involved will find themselves facing a lengthy ban from licensed premises within the town.

Over the last three months, Clitheroe Pubwatch have issued over 25 bans to individuals who have been involved in disorderly/violent behaviour or been caught using or supplying illegal drugs in pubs in the town.

Peter Crossley of the White Lion and chairman of Clitheroe Pubwatch, said: “As licensees of our many wonderful bars and pubs in Clitheroe, we have come together to ensure that we give our customers this experience in a safe and controlled environment. This means that we do not tolerate any sort of anti-social behaviour, people should be able to enjoy their social time without violence breaking out, drug taking or supplying drugs, we have a zero tolerance to this anti-social behaviour.

“Pub watch is here to help us stamp out such behaviour in all of our premises. This means instant bans for people who engage in this kind of behaviour. We have a good relationship with Lancashire Police and licensing at RVBC and work with them to help improve things. The Clitheroe economy needs good hospitality venues, and we appreciate all our customers. We as licensees love being a part of our community and we work hard so ensure everyone can enjoy what we all have to offer safely.”

A police spokesman said: “Lancashire Police support the aims of the Pubwatch and the message to those who are out to cause problems or who feel the need to take illegal drugs when on a night out, is clear; this behaviour will not be tolerated, and if you continue to act this way, you will find that you are not welcome in any of the pubs or bars in Clitheroe.”

This action is already starting to have a positive impact. Earlier this month, enquires arising out of concerns about drug dealing in pubs, led to a 19 year old man from Clitheroe being arrested on suspicion of possessing class A and B drugs with intent to supply. He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries. Police will continue to take positive action against those suspected of using or supplying drugs in local pubs.