THE SEARCH FOR THE 2015 DIAGEO NATIONAL PUBWATCH SCHEME OF THE YEAR BEGINS

2014 Awards. From left to right: Steve Baker-Chair NPW, Andrew Cowan-CEO Diageo GB, Alan Graham-Droylsden Pubwatch, Lord Rupert Redesdale.

 

The 2015 Diageo National Pubwatch Awards were launched today at the 12th National Pubwatch Conference in Cheltenham. Speaking at the packed conference venue to Pubwatch members, police and other stakeholders, Steve Baker, Chairman of National Pubwatch announced that the application process will officially open on Monday 6 April 2015 and run until Friday 17 July 2015. This will culminate in a prestigious award ceremony held in the autumn of 2015 in the House of Commons.


Now in their fourth year, the Pubwatch awards recognise the work being undertaken by local Pubwatch schemes across the UK to improve safety and the pub experience for everyone. The winners are selected by a panel of National Pubwatch members and industry experts.


Mark Baird, Head of Alcohol in Society at award sponsors Diageo GB, said: “Some fantastic schemes making a real difference in their communities received awards last year and as we go into our fourth year as sponsors of the National Pubwatch awards, we are excited to start the process for 2015. We recognise that a minority of people in the UK drink irresponsibly and we actively work to influence these groups where we can. The best way to change irresponsible behaviour is through better enforcement, better education and targeted initiatives – and Pubwatch does just that.”


Steve Baker, Chairman of National Pubwatch, said: “The Diageo National Pubwatch Awards recognise the hard work of local Pubwatch schemes throughout the UK and their efforts to provide safe drinking environments for customers and staff. Previous awards have highlighted some exceptional good practice from local Pubwatch Schemes and how they are working hard to make town centres safer. I am excited to kick off the 2015 search for schemes that have made an outstanding contribution to their community, and look forward to celebrating with the winners later this year.”


Last year’s winner, Droylsden’s Pubwatch was established in 2012 following a gangland shooting in a local pub, which ultimately led to the murder of two young female police officers in the area. Police responded strongly to the unusual circumstances by issuing a closure order for all pubs and restaurants in the area in an effort to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. To show their collective support, the area’s 30 pubs and restaurants agreed to band together to issue known criminals with lifetime bans from all licensed premises. 


Despite threats and violence, the pubs and pub owners have remained dedicated to the cause. They have implemented a ‘call around’ policy which involves pubs calling other pubs to alert them to any anti-social behaviour and they proudly demonstrate their commitment to the scheme with their distinctive Pubwatch posters and bar staff wearing a special Droylsden Pubwatch t-shirt.


Alan Graham Chairman of the Droylsden (Manchester) Pubwatch scheme said:

“Winning the 2014 award meant so much to us, and it is fantastic to have been recognised for the effort we have put in, but also for the town as a whole. People are still stopping us whilst out and about to say ‘well done, it’s about time all the pubs worked together’. We have had lots of positive comments from the public since winning the award and recognition that we are working to make our community a safer place.