Pubwatch relaunches in Richmond and Catterick Garrison

Publicans and police at the inaugural meeting of the new Richmond Pubwatch.

A pubwatch scheme covering Richmond and Catterick Garrison has relaunched with the aim of making pubs safer and more welcoming.

Around 15 licensees attended the inaugural meeting of the new Richmond Pubwatch at the town’s Town Hall Hotel.

PCSO Helenor Gwatkin, from Richmondshire police and Peter Jackson from National Pubwatch also attended.

Tenille Wren, who has more than 20 years of experience in the pub industry at the Town Hall Hotel, was elected chair and data officer.

She said: “I am delighted to take on the role of chair and data officer of Richmond Pubwatch.

“It is a great scheme which has the backing of both the council and the police.

“I encourage all pubs, bars and other licensed venues such as sports clubs, off licences and supermarkets to get involved and join the pubwatch as soon as they can.

“We have adopted the National Pubwatch good practice guidelines and, with the assistance of Peter Jackson, we have updated all our policies and procedures.

“I am a great believer in pubwatch and as chair I want to try, use and promote the use of technology in order to prevent crime and keep tabs on barred individuals.

“A great example is something called Scheme-link which allows landlords to share and view the names and photos of banned pub-goers, so that they know who they should and should not admit.

“We want the pubs in Richmond to be safe places to come and enjoy yourself without the blight of bad behaviour or illegal activity.”

The Pubwatch will be entering a network agreement with neighbouring schemes to share data and collectively ban serious offenders from all licensed premises within the network.

Further security measures were discussed which could see Richmond Pubwatch members using body cams to capture unacceptable behaviour.

In addition to the CCTV already in use in premises, the body cams can record audio, an added bonus in capturing evidence to aid banning procedure and supporting criminal prosecutions.

North Yorkshire Police has pledged to liaise with the Richmond Pubwatch to deal with any issues, alongside the council’s licensing team.

PCSO Gwatkin said: “With Tenille as chair and the members support, we can really push on and start making our pubs safer, friendlier and more inviting – with less crime and less troublemakers.

“The Richmond Pubwatch will be able to ban pub-goers from all premises in the borough, if there is sufficient evidence that says they have committed offences in Richmond pubs.”

The scheme had to relaunch following the introduction of new data protection laws.