Police threaten Reading pubs over glassware ban

By John Harrington john.harrington@william-reed.co.u

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Plastic, Glass

A senior Reading policeman has threatened to call for licence reviews at late night venues that won't ditch glass containers. Reading's inspector...

A senior Reading policeman has threatened to call for licence reviews at late night venues that won't ditch glass containers.

Reading's inspector Andy Bagnall wants town-centre bars that open after 11pm to switch to safer polycarbonate vessels to reduce glassing injuries in the Berkshire town. However, Reading Pub-watch has said that blanket glass bans are "unfair".

Bagnall told the MA: "I'm looking at venues that open from 11pm. I would expect them to have polycarbonate in place."

When asked about what action he would take if a

venue refused to remove glassware, he said: "Ulti-mately we could consider the issue of looking at the

licence. If we have a venue where there has been a glassing incident, serious questions have to be asked."

Bagnall stressed that glass bans would be expected, re-gardless of whether or not the venue had a history of violence or disorder.

"As far as I'm concerned if it's a late-night venue serving alcohol after 11pm, even if it has the poshest punters in the world, I would expect it to have plastic and polycarbonates," he added.

Bagnall made an exception for "traditional" pubs that may have extended their opening hours past 11pm. "For venues like that I don't think at the moment they need to [ban glass]."

Bagnall said he expected problems to escalate after the smoking ban, with more people wanting to take glasses outside to smoke.

Reading Pubwatch secretary Bill Donne said a blanket glass ban would be a "knee jerk reaction".

"We are not against the principle of polycarbonates where it is appropriate and proportionate. What we are against is a blanket imposition on everyone."

Are police calling for glass bans in your area? Call John Harrington on 01293 610481.

Don't Hit good pubs - Rawlings

British Beer & Pub Association director Martin Rawlings has called on Reading police to drop calls to introduce a glass ban in the town's pubs.

Rawlings, the BBPA's director of pubs and leisure, spoke at the annual Reading Pubwatch conference and called for bad pubs and clubs to be targeted, instead of a blanket ban that would affect all operators. "The subject in the first instance is violence in pubs and bars, and the root cause is down to individuals," Rawlings told the conference.

"There are a small number of people responsible. Why can't the police put them away? If they get away with it, it sends the message out that they can do what they like.

"We are saying let's close down the bad pubs, but don't penalise the good pubs. Where it's appropriate then perhaps it should be a condition to have polycarbonate.

"What is much more difficult to support is a blanket approach. It doesn't seem to me that we need to do that in every pub around here. We're not yobs and we don't want yobs in our pubs."

Rawlings said a blanket ban would suggest to visitors that the Berkshire town has a big problem with glass-related violence, when that is not the case.

Related topics: Licensing law

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