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Bath considers hiring public for disorder patrols'

04-Nov-2004

Members of the public could be hired to walk around popular nightspots in Bath and gather evidence of alcohol-fuelled disorder to help determine whether the city has reached saturation point.


Bath's draft licensing policy says the council will consider a saturation policy to limit the number of licensed venues in key areas.


But this would only be enacted if it can be proved that there are too many pubs and clubs, causing high levels of alcohol-fuelled disorder, disturbing neighbourhoods and straining police resources.


At a recent meeting of the Bath Bar Charter Group (BBCG) ­ which includes licensees, police, residents and representatives from the council ­ an idea was floated to recruit people to accompany a police officer on weekend patrols to record late-night disorder.


The plan is for a cross-section of the population ­ including students, local residents and licensees from outside the city ­ to accompany the police. They would go to different points of the city in pairs and be paid £20.


The evidence they gather will be combined with crime figures from the police and used to push for a saturation policy.


Councillor Sarah Webb, a BBCG member and safety campaigner, said: "[The saturation policy] has to be robust because if [pub and club operators] want to apply they will appeal with lawyers.


"We have to be on good grounds if we are challenged."

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