'Bar health check' scheme rolled out in Camden

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Crime License Camden

'Bar health check' scheme rolled out in Camden
Pubs and bars in Camden were inspected as part of a pilot ‘bar health check’ scheme by the local council and police which led to a 37% reduction in violent crime in the borough.

The scheme, which was rolled out between January and August, identified 32 of the borough’s licensed venues and premises as needing support from the council and police licensing officers.

The venues were identified using crime and complaints data about licensing problems such as antisocial behaviour and noise. Following self-assessments by the venues, council and police officers identified what actions and training were needed by the venues, which included pubs and clubs.

The premises were also notified that they would be monitored in the evening to ensure that they operated in accordance with the information they provided on the venue self-assessment form and with their licence.

Following night time observations, a total of 286 recommendations were proposed to the 32 venues, such as increasing staff numbers and training, additional CCTV, extra security staff and changes to floor layouts.

One of the premises offered advice was the Black Cap in Camden High Street.

Manager Phillip Cooper said: “The Black Cap is a very busy and popular venue, and we were offered advice about protecting our customers from theft.

“Working with the police and council has made our bar a safer place for customers and residents which is better for our business as well and this sort of initiative from the police can only be a good things for all those concerned.”

Cllr Sue Vincent, Camden Council’s cabinet member for Environment, said: “Rather than relying on enforcement, Bar Health Check shows we will start conversations with responsible owners and managers of licensed premises, such as the Black Cap. Feedback from the scheme has been encouraging, with a significant reduction in violent crime.

“This is an innovative way in which we can improve the standard of licensed premises across Camden and ensure that our borough remains a safe place for visitors and residents.”

Inspector Will Ford from Camden Police’s Licensing Unit said: “Bar Health Check has been a pivotal partnership initiative between police, fire brigade, Camden Council and licensees. This resulted in a dramatic reduction in alcohol related disorder and theft of property in many of the participating venues.

“The success of this initiative has led to the creation of a multi-agency working process which will lead to the further crime reduction linked to Camden’s night time economy. This expansion of Bar Health Check will be launched in January 2012.”

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