Troublemakers face being banned from every pub in West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh

Pubwatch scheme takes a hardline approach ahead of the festive season

Troublemakers in pubs and clubs in Alexandria could be banned from all licensed premises from Helensburgh to Dumbarton.

The Pubwatch scheme, which aims to help create safer drinking venues, is warning drinkers to be on their best behaviour over the festive period.

More than 15 premises across the Vale of Leven have joined the scheme, giving licensees the power to bar anyone involved in criminal activity in their pub.

Previously those who incurred a Pubwatch ban would be prevented from entering any premises in Alexandria covered by the scheme – but now they face being barred from pubs and clubs across West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh.

The scheme – which is fully backed by police and West Dunbartonshire Council licensing staff – promotes responsible management and operation of licensed premises from Balloch to Renton.

That work includes initiatives to help train licensees, bar staff, and door staff on best practice and clamping down on violent and disorderly incidents at licensed establishments.

Licensees work in partnership with officers from Police Scotland to ensure a safe environment and identify those who cause trouble in bars and pubs.

Vale of Leven Pubwatch chairman, Stephen Quinn, said: “Fellow licensees appreciate the protection the scheme offers. I would encourage other licensed premises not already part of the scheme to sign up now and help protect their staff and customers.

“Staff meet with the police every four weeks to discuss problems and exchange useful information.”

Councillor John Mooney, convener of West Dunbartonshire Licensing Board, said: “Pubwatch is a great example of what can be done when people join together to protect their staff and customers.

“Hopefully people will think first before they cause trouble in any of our licensed premises.”

Councillor John Millar, depute convener of West Dunbartonshire Licensing Board, added: “Everyone has the right to feel safe and enjoy themselves when they go out for a drink with family and friends.

“We want to make sure pubs and clubs are as safe as possible for people.”

Police Scotland Inspector John Mullen said: “I am proud of the fantastic links my officers have built up with the licensees and the council.

“By working in partnership we will continue to improve the safety of our residents. Keeping People Safe during the festive season is our priority.

“Christmas and Hogmanay are times for creating happy memories that will last a lifetime not nightmare situations that you will want to forget.

“Police officers will be there for anyone who needs assistance or advice.”

Photograph and story courtesy of Daily Record