Trade chief speaks up for polycarbonates

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Toughened glass, Glass, Paul waterson

A Scottish trade chief has argued that a move towards using toughened glass in Strathclyde pubs is a "positive" step and has "more advantages than...

A Scottish trade chief has argued that a move towards using toughened glass in Strathclyde pubs is a "positive" step and has "more advantages than disadvantages".

Paul Waterson, chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said he hoped all venues in the area would adopt the new polycarbonate glasses voluntarily.

Strathclyde Police yesterday launched a new initiative to encourage pubs and clubs to switch to toughened glass by a deadline of November 1.

However Waterson said he understood that using the new type of glass would be "voluntary".

But he added: "We hope everyone will switch by November 1, in time for the busy Christmas period."

In Glasgow, venues open after midnight already have to use polycarbonates.

Waterson added: "As responsible licensees we have a duty of care not only to our customers, but also to our staff.

"Although glassing attacks are very rare, we must take every opportunity to minimize the potential for assaults and injuries in our pubs and clubs - that's what the introduction of toughened glass is all about."

He was also keen to stress that it was pint and half pint glasses that were expected to be in the new toughened format, not wine glasses.

He also dismissed that the cost to pubs of switching to polycarbonates was a problem. "It's not a major issue," he said.

However Patrick Browne, chief executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said he was "surprised" he had had no contact from the police about the initiative, despite the fact his members operated 150 pubs in the Glasgow area.

He added: "We are opposed to blanket policies forcing the use of toughened glass in pubs in Glasgow instead believing this should be focused on those premises where there is an identifiable problem.

"Thankfully attacks involving the use of glass are very, very rare albeit that they are serious for those involved and the industry fully support targeted action to tackle the problem."

At yesterday's launch Strathclyde Police assistant chief constable Ruaraidh Nicolson said: "Strathclyde Police is delighted to be involved in this toughened glass initiative. While thankfully incidents are rare, this will again bring down the number.

"It is also important for staff working in the industry to have any risk of potential injury to them while working reduced."

According to Strathclyde Police in 2009 there were 52 glassing attacks in the area leading to serious injury.

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