Bishop Auckland licensees fear any cuts to police numbers will lead to rise in anti-social behaviour (From The Northern Echo)
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Bishop Auckland licensees fear any cuts to police numbers will lead to rise in anti-social behaviour
LICENSEES fear there will be a tragedy on their doorsteps unless police keep a closer eye on drinkers at closing time.
Members of Pub Watch in Bishop Auckland are concerned any reduction in officers could leave them exposed to serious anti-social behaviour from punters on Friday and Saturday nights.
While there is still a police presence in the Market Place at the weekend, a number of licensees say there is a noticeable difference compared to just two years ago.
However, Chief Superintendent Ivan Wood, head of neighbourhood policing at Durham Police, said there has been no reduction in officer numbers and that people should be confident any incidents will be dealt with.
Chris Ball, who runs The Postchaise (CORR) and is the chairman of Pub Watch, said: “Trade is the quietest it ever has been so we need all the customers we can get, but we don’t want trouble.
“Our members are doing everything properly, but we don’t want any problems because of lack of support from the police.
“We need regular officers who build up a relationship with the licensees and also our customers.”
Raj Degan, of No 1 Market Place (CORR), said: “It is good for us to have the police around. People see the officers and don’t want trouble. What we need is joint training with the police so we can work together.”
There are more than 30 pubs in Bishop Auckland, but only half are in Pub Watch and of them just nine are active members.
PC Alex Riley, of Bishop Auckland Police, said: “We have a zero-tolerance approach towards anyone causing any hassle in the town centre. We fully support the licensees in the work they have been doing and urge all landlords to get involved in Pub Watch.
Chief Superintendent Ivan Wood, head of neighbourhood policing at Durham Police, said: “There has been no reduction in frontline resources within Bishop Auckland.
“Our policing style is intelligence-led, which means our resources are allocated to areas of highest demand.
"Crime within Bishop Auckland town centre area has reduced significantly within the last two to three years and it is a safe place for people to live and visit.
“Members of the public can be confident police officers will be there when they are needed.
“We expect licensees to manage their premises responsibly and will continue to work with licensees in Bishop Auckland to make the town even safer.”
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