'Bring back Pubwatch to crack down on violence in Grantham'
There have been urgent calls for the return of a town centre scheme to tackle nightlife violence following an assault in Grantham on Friday night, in which a man suffered a serious head injury.
A former chairman of the Grantham Pubwatch scheme and a current club owner in the town have both said they support the idea of a new scheme to identify troublemakers and prevent them from entering pubs and clubs.
The call comes after an incident near the King’s Arms pub which happened in Westgate, at about 11.20pm on Friday.
A 37-year-old man was injured and taken to hospital and reportedly kept in intensive care. It is believed his life may have been saved after a defibrillator was used to revive him.
Luke Templeman, 27, of Launder Terrace, Grantham, appeared at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Monday, charged with causing grievous bodily harm, and was remanded in custody to appear in crown court on a date to be decided.
Former Pubwatch chairman Elvis Stooke said he would like to see the scheme up and running again, and says urgent action needs to be taken to stop violence.
Mr Stooke told the Journal: “It saddens me the way Grantham nightlife has become.
“I think it is time the authorities, from the police to the South Kesteven District Council licensing team, came down hard on these kinds of incidents.
“I should also like to say to the landlords of the pubs in the town, you should consider bringing back the Pubwatch scheme.
“The scheme is not about controlling the landlords, it was always about the landlords controlling who would be banned from every pub and nightclub in the town.”
Mr Stooke said he believed the scheme was effective, although not perfect. He said: “Pubs and clubs became safer places to be and people thought twice before causing issues.
“It also became a very useful tool for the door staff as they could identify individuals who were known as troublemakers and use the town radio system, which sadly does not seem to get used any more.”
He added: “I am sure Grantham people who go out for a night of entertainment would like to know they are going to have a safe night and not a nightmare of a night out.”
Victoria Manley, who runs Gold Nightspot, Gravity and Revolution, said she would like to try and set up a scheme this year.
She said: “I started to try and set this up with the full support of police licensing last year, but unfortunately we only had one other landlord turn up and a representative from another venue. I re-held another meeting and no-one at all showed up.
“It’s really sad that for whatever reason that landlords didn’t want to get involved.
“I personally think zero tolerance across all venues in the town is needed and better communication on a day-to-day basis.
“If someone is abusive or caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing and ejected for it, other venues should have the heads up at the time so we can refuse entry or service to ensure the 99 per cent of customers who do come out have a safe and enjoyable time.”
Mike Charity, of the Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven, said it was the defibrillator installed by the club last year outside The George Centre that was used on the victim in Friday’s assault.
Mr Charity said: “I believe the guy is recovering in intensive care. This unit, installed last September, has been deployed four times, but this is the first time it has been necessary to use it.
“The resuscitation pads have been replaced and it is now ready for the next time.”
Inspector Gary Stewart, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “The incident in the town was a serious assault but it is very unusual for this type of incident to occur in Grantham.
“We will be directing the officers on duty to provide a presence within the town centre.”