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Pubs join forces to keep Devizes safe
9:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
Devizes Pubwatch has reformed with a pledge to make Devizes a safer town.
The scheme, which sees pubs join forces to stamp out violence, drug use and other crimes on their premises, has had a turnover of licensees over the years as some have moved out of the town.
But police and council licensing officers were keen to re-establish the scheme and after a meeting at Wadworth Brewery, which owns the majority of pubs in Devizes, the brewery agreed to help.
It called a meeting of landlords and about a dozen have become members.
Pubwatch chairman James Blake, who with his wife, Tricia, have run the Cavalier pub in Eastleigh Road for five years, has been involved with Pubwatch in Devizes and other towns where he has worked.
He said: “Pubwatch has always been a good idea. We have tried to make it simplified and easier to work.
“If there are minor incidents in pubs that are one-offs, they are dealt with by the licensee. If there are major incidents or customers become repeat offenders, it’s discussed at Pubwatch.
“Pubwatch is there to help the licensees and the community to make sure the public are safe.”
Monthly meetings take place at the Wadworth White Lion training centre in Devizes. A police officer attends to give an update on issues and crime trends in the town. At a previous meeting, the licensees received an update on new gambling laws and at future meetings it is hoped to invite pub suppliers to attend and also to have refresher training on types of drugs and their side effects.
Not all Pubwatch members are Wadworth pubs. A manager at Wetherspoon’s Silk Mercer pub is the vice-chairman of the scheme and Mr Blake is encouraging other pub landlords to join.
Inspector Matt Armstrong, the commander at Devizes Police, said: “It’s a positive thing. Where Pubwatches are in place we do see a reduction in violence in the night time economy. It’s about getting licensees together.”