National Pubwatch warns against NHS involvement

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pubwatch, National pubwatch, License, Nhs

Pubwatch: keep it between licensees
Pubwatch: keep it between licensees
National Pubwatch has said that any partnership between the NHS and a pubwatch is ill-advised. Isle of Wight Pubwatch recently announced the...

National Pubwatch has said that any partnership between the NHS and a pubwatch is ill-advised.

Isle of Wight Pubwatch recently announced the partnership in a bid to reduce alcohol-related disorder. NHS representatives will attend pubwatch meetings and nominate trouble makers for pub bans based on hospital records.

Licensees in the area welcomed the affiliation, but National Pubwatch chairman Steve Baker said the banning process should be handled exclusively by the licensees of the pubwatch.

"Our advice to any pubwatch scheme is that an NHS Trust should not be a member," said Baker. "The NHS is a public authority, just the same as the police and as such should only interact with the pubwatch in a liaison capacity.

"Pubwatch members need to be aware that recent legal challenges have attempted to overturn pubwatch bans, using human rights legislation, by trying to exploit the close working relationship that exists between schemes and public authorities.

"As such pubwatch members should guard their independence jealously. That independence should extend to how they nominate and ban someone for violent and anti-social behaviour.

"We fully support efforts by pubwatch members to support ambulance staff, particularly if they are assaulted while working in the vicinity of licensed premises. However the process needs to be driven by the licensee members of the pubwatch scheme."

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