Green light given for pubs rating system

By Stephen McVey

A NEW ‘traffic light’ system to tackle alcohol-related crime and violence at bars and nightclubs has been welcomed by an industry spokesman.The system, based on a model implemented succesfully in Cardiff, will see penalties and licence restrictions given to pubs and clubs that receive a red-light rating, whilst amber ratings will mean that the establishments are closely monitored.

The rating will be decided based on the number of points incurred for incidents at premises, with the size of the establishments taken into account.

The PSNI said that the model was instrumental in helping Cardiff City Council improve the management and safety of their night time economy.

Pubs of Ulster Chief executive, Colin Williams has said that South Belfast pubs will be happy to operate under the new PSNI rating system.

“If a pub or club is given an amber rating the licensee will be as concerned as the police. It is natural that some establishments are better at maintaining standards than others, but the bars in South Belfast are generally very good at dealing with trouble.

“Nobody is running a premise that wants trouble or to have a bad reputation.”

He added that he hoped none of the pubs or clubs would reach a red rating.

“It will be about number crunching and approaching the pubs and clubs to let them know that they have slipped into an amber rating and allow the licensee to respond appropriately.”

The Pubs of Ulster representative said he seen the new system as an efficient way of  keeping authorities and licensees informed.

“Seventy per cent of the trouble relates to people who are already drunk when they come to the door.  Establishments may not have realised that they had a problem because the majority of incidents happen outside their property. This will be a way of raising awareness and informing establishments and the PSNI.

“It is about making sure we are performing as best as we can to help reduce assaults and act as an early intervention.”

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