Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Pubwatch scheme membership extended in the Bangor area

A Bangor pub security scheme, which bars drinkers if they become aggressive or violent, is being extended to include Healthcare organisations.

The North West Wales NHS Trust and Wales Ambulance Service have teamed up with Pubwatch and in doing so have become the first healthcare organisations in Wales to join such a scheme.

Both organizations have become affiliated members of the Bangor and District Pubwatch, a pub security scheme which bars drinkers from all member premises if they become abusive or violent in just one. This means people who attack or insult healthcare workers may be barred from pubs and clubs in the area.

Pubwatch has been running in the Bangor area over the last five years and there are currently 62 people on the scheme who are barred from licensed premises. Every premises in Bangor that sells alcohol as a main part of their business is currently a member.

Sergeant Bill Coppack said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work towards creating a responsible environment for the sale and consumption of alcohol. The addition of the healthcare services to the scheme means that those who abuse medical staff will not be allowed back into the area again to drink or to repeat their bad behaviour.

“North Wales Police don't tolerate people who are abusive or violent in the area's pubs, and I'm sure this will make people think twice before being abusive or violent towards healthcare staff.”

Members of the Pubwatch scheme meet once a month where an opportunity is given for them to nominate people who have misbehaved on their premises. Prior to the meeting, police are notified of the nominations.

Sgt Coppack added: “Officers scan crime reports for offences on licensed premises as well as on NHS premises. The cases will then be brought to the attention of the individual licensee’s.

“If it transpires that the individual had been drinking in another area, such as Llangefni or Caernarfon, the Pubwatch schemes there will be notified. Each individual scheme will vote on the ban so the length of each ban may vary.”

Martin Jones, Chief Executive at the North West Wales NHS Trust said: "It is quite rightly expected that NHS staff should treat patients and relatives with respect, dignity and act in a professional manner. The flip side of this relationship is that NHS staff should also be treated in a similar manner.

“Whilst the vast majority of patients and relatives relate to our staff in a positive way, it is regrettable that some individuals consider it acceptable to be verbally abusive or violent towards NHS staff. This is totally unacceptable.

He added: “This new relationship with the Pubwatch scheme will add to other sanctions and help drive home the message that unacceptable conduct will not be tolerated and that there will be wider consequences for individuals engaged in such behaviour.

“The NHS in North Wales will continue to develop our partnership working with police and other agencies and use a range of sanctions against those who commit crimes against the NHS and its staff.”

  • To date one person has been given a two year ban from all Bangor / Bethesda licensed premises, for threatening and abusing NHS staff whilst drunk.
  • The scheme is not limited to Bangor but will include every designated Pubwatch area in Gwynedd and Anglesey to ensure that the punishment of the ban is imposed in the area from which the intoxicants were purchased.
  • Pubwatch posters are displayed within NWW NHS Trust premises and Welsh Ambulance Service vehicles, to inform persons who require their services that violent incidents (including the threat of violence) will not be tolerated.


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