Punish the glassing thugs, not the trade'

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Related tags: Door supervisors, Glass, License, Security industry authority

The Viewpoint article by Jefford "Why glass ban is not the answer", in last week's Morning Advertiser is one of those rare comments full of common...

The Viewpoint article by Jefford "Why glass ban is not the answer", in last week's Morning Advertiser is one of those rare comments full of common sense. For months I have been reading about different initiatives from trade and licensing authorities, police and correspondents about the need to change from glass to plastic and toughened glass. What is more annoying is that suppliers and brand owners are "cowing" to a tiny minority of mindless thugs who stoop to the use of glass as a weapon. Before I go any further I, like Jefford, want to pass on my sympathy and support to Louise McClintock, the young lady who featured in the article after being assaulted with a glass and suffering those terrible injuries. But I do not believe that the banning of glass or the use of plastic or hardened/toughened glass will do anything to help. When you have totally removed the glass ­ both bottles and serving glasses ­ those same thugs will then assault you with a chair or table leg. The answer is not to move away from glass, but to punish these perpetrators in such a way that no-one will want the stigma or the sentence that goes with such an attack. In short, punish the criminal and not the trade. Tony Harwood Managing Director Pago Fruit Juices UK Clarifying the position of door supervisors' I write to clarify the legal position for door supervisors and licensees in the south west, as I feel that an article in the 23 September issue of the Morning Advertiser was ambiguous and could have misinformed door supervisors and licensees on their legal obligations. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) offence date for door supervisors to be licensed in the south west has not "been pushed back". From 13 September 2004 it is a legal requirement for door supervisors working in the south west to hold an SIA door supervisor licence and action may be taken against anyone found operating without an SIA licence or employing unlicensed staff. We expect door supervisors, their managers and premises licence holders to comply with the law. Anyone working without an SIA licence remains liable for their actions. We know that some door supervisors in the south west who undertook the NCFE Level 2 National Door Supervisors' Qualification experienced delays in receiving their training certificates. The combination of NCFE delays and problems generated by a few training centres meant that some door supervisors were unable to apply for their SIA licence in time for the offence date. NCFE have written to those candidates to apologise and are making efforts to clear their administrative problems. To address the NCFE delay and inaction by some door staff, police forces in the south west have announced that they may, under strict conditions and for a limited period, apply a discretionary policy to those who have made a serious effort to get licensed. That decision and any subsequent action is a matter for the police. However, we believe that any enforcement action should always be fair and proportionate. Ninety per cent of valid licence applications received by the SIA are being processed within the advertised four to six weeks. I would urge door supervisors to return their applications to the SIA as soon as they can and for licensees to ensure that their door staff are aware of the seriousness of working without a licence. We at the SIA, and our partners in the police and local authorities, are committed to ensuring the public, and licensees, are served by professional door supervisors who have been vetted, trained and are qualified to do their job. Modern door supervision cannot be for amateurs or for the minority of unsuitable operators who, in the past, have put the public at risk and given the industry a bad name. Dianne Tranmer Assistant Director Compliance & Investigation The Security Industry Authority Hold parents responsible for their children drinking' Every week I read about under-age drinking, yet nothing constructive seems to be done to get this back under control, except to whip the poor landlords who sometimes sell alcohol to these people. Entrapment by the police comes to my mind as they are sending these youngsters into the pubs to get served. What has happened to family responsibility? The parents of these under-age drinkers seem to condone what is happening, yet the police do nothing against these adults. The police should warn parents that drinking under-age is illegal and if their children break the law, the parents should be taken to court. Why the Government is chasing the poor landlords I don't know (maybe we are easy targets). EB Cant Landlord Colliers Winner Regional Welsh Pub of the Year 2004 Councils need reminding about district auditors' From your reporting of the various licensing policies set out for consultation by local authorities, it seems clear that many councils quite nakedly intend to exceed their powers. Indeed the London Borough of Wandsworth says as much. Of course, licensees and operating companies can and will oppose these new policies in court if they have to. But it will be expensive and onerous and will create bad feeling between the trade and local authorities that could last for years and will scupper any attempt at creating the sort of co-operative atmosphere we advocates of reform hoped would ensue. Might it not pre-empt this long and bitter round of legal actions if some suitable body ­ the British Beer & Pub Association, for instance -- circularised members of those councils whose policies seem to be illegal and reminded them of the existence of the district auditor? Peter Coulson could confirm this, but I seem to remember from my days as a trainee reporter all those years ago that any expenses incurred in hiring lawyers to defend a policy that is plainly and simply against the law should not come out of the public purse, but out of surcharges imposed on councillors who seem to think they are God. Ted Bruning Editor What's Brewing

Related topics: Legislation

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