Grantham landlord has noticed more trouble since policing change

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The chairman of Grantham’s Pubwatch says he has noticed more trouble on the streets since police focused their patrols out of town.

The weekend changes were to encourage licensees to take more responsibility for alcohol-fuelled crime.

But Andrew Moore, who is landlord of the Black Dog, in Watergate, said landlords are doing all they can, but they cannot protect people once they are on the streets, and not on licensed premises

He said: “We police our own buildings but once they leave our front door they are left to their own devices. They’re putting more fines and pressure on us as licensees but they are taking away the support.

“Christmas brings a lot of new people into the town, who we’ve got to look after, it brings a lot of idiots as well.

“We’ve noticed that since policing levels have been dropped there have been more incidents on the streets especially around the George Shopping Centre on a Friday and Saturday night.”

Meanwhile, Mr Moore said the supermarkets are still selling limitless alcohol to people, who are then coming into the town centre.

Spokesman from Lincolnshire Police James Newall said: “We have made some trial changes to the way we police the town centre over the weekends. In the new year we will be in a position to provide the public with information on how it’s going and at that stage address any concerns or make any necessary adjustments.”

Mr Moore said the Pubwatch system, which bans serious offenders from pubs in the town centre, is also struggling as members are waiting for the police to put troublemakers on the scheme.

He added: “Without the pol-
ice backing we can’t go any-where, it doesn’t matter how serious the offence is. We’re banging our heads against a brick wall.”

The police are needed to tell offenders that they are on Pubwatch and then distribute their image to every licensed prem-ises in the town centre.

Mr Moore said the scheme is not for petty things that may get people banned from an individual pub, but for more serious matters which have led to an
arrest, like violence.

He commented: “The reason we do it is for the safety of our customers and our staff as well. The landlords all know the offenders, but we can’t say they’re out of the pubs because of Pubwatch.”

He said Pubwatch is still working, with between 20 and 40 people currently banned from town centre bars and clubs. But licensees, who work with the council, street pastors and police on the scheme, are starting to lose enthusiasm because of the lack of police assistance.

Police spokesman Mr New-all added: “We take on board any concerns that members of Pubwatch have and will continue to work closely with them with the aim of together reducing alcohol-related violence in Grantham.”