The Publican’s Morning Advertiser reported last week that pubs had been warned about the risk of prosecution under the Data Protection Act.
Wetherspoon head of licensing Nigel Conner said pubs should not display images of banned customers in offices, around the bar or anywhere where they could be spotted by the general public. Instead pictures should be kept securely in a safe.
Adrian Smith, who heads up Ipswich Pubwatch and runs freehold the Dove Street Inn, said: “It’s frustrating this is an issue of public safety. If this breaches people’s human rights, how come you can go into betting shops and see a gallery in the public area of banned people with gambling addictions? The Government needs to look after the good people and not the minority that cause all the problems.”
His views were shared by Steven Pyatt of the Fleece Inn, Elland, West Yorkshire, who said he had been threatened by customers many times throughout his career.
“These people come into licensed premises often to engage in antisocial or criminal behaviour. And yet once again it is licensees, who only want to protect their businesses and customers, who fear prosecution.”
However Hannah Roberts, duty manager at Robinsons’ the Royal Ship in Dolgellau, north Wales, said the pub already kept pictures in a safe, although admitted it did sometimes make it more difficult for staff to know who to serve.
Licensees have been urged to train staff so they understand the full implications of misusing personal data.