The 14th annual conference, being held at the Hilton Hotel in Reading, Berkshire, on Tuesday 28 February, will give licensees and police officers the chance to hear the latest views on licensing as well as get involved in practical workshops from speakers, including barristers, police chiefs and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). It will also celebrate the 20th year of the National Pubwatch organisation.
Rachel Kearton, assistant chief constable of Suffolk Police and National Police Chiefs Council lead for alcohol licensing and harm, will talk about the current police view on licensing and how Pubwatch integrates in a partnership approach to reduce crime and disorder.
Meanwhile, BBPA policy director Andy Tighe will provide the current trade view on the topic. Thames Valley police chief constable Francis Habgood, will open the conference.
The afternoon sessions focus on both legal and practical issues.
Barristers Stephen Walsh QC and Gary Grant will offer a legal update on legislative changes such as the Licensing Act 2003 and gaming. They will also look at the issue of data sharing and how the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014 integrates with Pubwatch.
Other practical workshops are based around training for staff in relation to selling to underage people, selling to those who are drunk and conflict management. The sessions will also look at how drugs and psychoactive substances (legal highs) impact upon the industry.
The event will also see the presentation of the National Pubwatch Award of Merit, which is given to someone who has gone the extra mile in an unpaid role to improve and develop a local Pubwatch scheme. The Malcolm Eidmans Award will also be presented to a member of police or a council employee that has made an outstanding contribution to a local Pubwatch scheme.