Licensees urged to help in crime fight

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Local licensees are to receive advice on how to tackle under-age drinkers and people who have drunk too much alcohol.

Partners led by Derbyshire Dales District Council, Derbyshire police and County Council Trading Standards are staging a free seminar at Matlock’s County Hall on Tuesday 9 October at 10am.

Invitations have gone out to licensees of pubs, bars and eating places across the Derbyshire Dales and further information is available from the District Council on 01629 761313 or via email licensing@derbyshiredales.gov.uk.

District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, who is also Chairman of the Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, said: “Thankfully, the Dales is one of the safest places in the whole of the UK to live, work and visit, but we have to be conscious that serving alcohol to people who are already drunk and to underage drinkers is a national problem that all regions need to tackle.

“This training seminar is designed to ensure that licensees and designated premises supervisors fully understand their legal duties.

“The training will also help licensees to review their current recording systems and to implement more robust ones that will help them.

“We really would encourage licensees to attend this seminar.

“As one of the local enforcement authorities, the District Council is pledging to continue to carry out spot checks on licensed premises throughout the year to ensure compliance is happening.

“Officers are also available by telephone or appointment at any other time if licensees need advice or assistance.”

A register will be kept of licensees attending the seminar that can be used for reference should problems occur in future at premises where training was not sought.

Matlock licensee James Neville of the MoCa Bar in Dale Road said: “I fully support this training seminar. It is important for licensees to ensure good systems are put in place to prevent crime and disorder happening at our premises.

“Last week we received a letter from the police informing us that we had passed a covert underage operation. The positive feedback reassures me and my staff that our current systems are working - but we need to continue monitoring our system to make them robust.”

Robert Short from TwentyTen in Matlock’s Dale Road agrees.

He said: “It really is important to tackle the issue of selling alcohol to people who have too much to drink and to under-age drinkers.

“Ignoring these issues simply creates more problems and anti-social behaviour and that can impact not only socially but ultimately will have an effect on the local economy.

“It is essential to manage the Challenge 25 policy robustly.

“With the continued availability of cheap alcohol from retail units and the social culture that exists, pubs and bars must ensure that they prevent underage drinking from taking hold.

“Yes, we’re living in difficult economic times, but serving alcohol to young people can lead to complications now and in the future, increasing the likelihood of violence.”

Inspector Bryan Hall, who is in charge of policing in the Derbyshire Dales, said: “We really do need as many local licensees as possible to top up their knowledge.

“While the police and our crime prevention partners will continue to do our utmost to keep the streets of the Derbyshire Dales safe, we can only succeed with the help of the people who manage our local pubs, bars and restaurants.”

A licensing seminar in the High Peak, involving High Peak Borough Council, will take place from 11am on 23 October at The Dome, University of Derby, Devonshire Royal Campus, Devonshire Road in Buxton.