Our 2022 finalists
Three Pubwatch schemes are in the running to win the top accolade at the prestigious National Pubwatch Awards 2023.
The award recognises the work of local Pubwatch schemes and their efforts to provide safe drinking environments for customers and staff. The winner and two Pubwatch schemes that will be highly commended will attend an awards dinner in House of Lords on 17th October 2023.
The awards, which are in their 11th year, are sponsored by JD Wetherspoon.
Chairman of National Pubwatch Steve Baker OBE, said: “The quality of entries this year were of a very high standard. It was a tough challenge to get these down to three finalists. It is a real testament to those Pubwatch schemes across the country who have been doing such important and ground breaking work to make the night time economy safe.”
Three Pubwatch schemes in Dalston, Nottingham and Taunton have all been shortlisted as some of the best schemes in the country this year by National Pubwatch.
And the finalists are:
Dalston Pubwatch, which is called the Dalston Late Night Economy Forum, has been committed for more than a decade to supporting an independent, sustainable, safe and responsible night time economy.
The Pubwatch has engaged with the council and police on initiatives to reduce phone theft both inside and outside venues, and is involved in awareness campaigns around this issue. The campaigns have seen reductions in thefts, and more awareness around techniques such as snatch and grabs from scooters or bicycles.
It has also been very involved in developing best practice around spiking incidents, including advising staff on how to handle potential victims of spiking, acting on suspicious behaviour and practical advice around preserving evidence, such as drinks to hand over to police.
The scheme has successfully lobbied the council to provide two private medics who are on hand in the area every Friday and Saturday night in order to free up police resources and provide specialist medical attention where needed.
Members of the Pubwatch are also active users of the CCTV radio scheme in the borough, which has played a large part in the reduction of sexual and violent assault in the area.
Most recently, in direct response to the homophobic stabbings in Clapham, the LGBTQIA+ officer from the Police spoke with the group about awareness and identifying the potential for these types of crime so that members might avoid similar incidents.
The Dalston Night time Economy Forum consists of a monthly meeting for operators which is followed by a larger meeting for operators, council, police, other authorities and guests, which have included the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and the local MP Dianne Abbott attending their meetings.
Nottingham Pubwatch has been running for 30 years with the focus to help make Nottingham City Centre licensed premises safer and more vibrant places for the public and visitors to enjoy. The committee has good working relationships with key stakeholders in the night-time economy both nationally and locally whether that be local authorities, the BID or national associations.
Representatives from the police, council, BID, street pastors and other associates regularly attend Pubwatch meetings. The Pubwatch invited all operators and security providers to a round table, which was hosted by one of Nottingham’s independent local breweries, Castle Rock. The event was well received and attended by MPs Lilian Greenwood and Nadia Whittome both supporters of Nottingham’s NTE.
As part of Operation Windrush, the pubwatch was invited to be part of the Gold group, to coordinate a multi-agency response. The Pubwatch enabled ongoing engagement with over 80 representatives from the licensing industry. This enabled Windrush to support venues in reviewing security arrangements for searching to deter people who intended to spike customers, training to spot drink spiking and information on looking after customers who were concerned that they had been spiked.
Following on from this and the introduction of the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) initiative the committee worked with the BID and the PCC to ensure that employees in the NTE were offered training. The training that was developed by local charity, Equation explored an overview of how employees can respond in a range of scenarios and provide information on Nottingham’s approach to the safety of Women and Girls in the Night-Time Economy.
This year the Pubwatch has revealed that it wants to focus on Sustainability, and will utilise its relationship with the BID who also supports the goal of Net Zero 2028.
Taunton Pubwatch has taken a recent strategic decision to open membership to all businesses with premises licences so that it extends the benefits of its initiatives beyond traditional pub settings.
They meet once a month, with meeting locations rotated amongst member venues.
This practice ensures inclusivity and encourages active participation from its diverse establishments. Local law enforcement and agencies are regular attendees, fostering collaborative discussions and shared insights. It has also forged strong connections with local pub sports leagues such as Pool, Darts, and Skittles, recognising their role in community interaction.
The pubwatch has been a proactive advocate for social responsibility, implementing a range of innovative initiatives to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour. It actively supported the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) campaign, has played a key role in advocating the use of the Citizen Card scheme and has made the Ask Angela campaign a focus.
Collaboration with local police and police licensing authorities stands as a cornerstone of its crime reduction strategy. But its collaboration extends beyond the immediate locality as it has active links to other local pub watches such as Wellington Pubwatch and Bridgwater Pubwatch.
It has daily communication via a WhatsApp Group that facilitates quick updates, information sharing, and co-ordination.
It has a joined forces with local Town CCTV operatives to optimise the use of the Townlink radio system. It has actively engaged in educational sessions during its meetings which has enhanced the understanding of the system, enabling more efficient communication and co-operation with law enforcement.
To enhance visibility and awareness, it is embarking on an initiative to install ‘Pub Watch Area’ street signage. This visual representation highlights its commitment to safety and encourages responsible behaviour within its designated area.