National Pubwatch rewards four licensees for fighting crime and disorder

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Star honoured: James Hitchin with National Pubwatch's Trevor Pepper
Star honoured: James Hitchin with National Pubwatch's Trevor Pepper

Related tags Cumbria Crime Police National pubwatch

Four licensees have each received a National Pubwatch 'Star Award' for their role in fighting crime and disorder in the late-night economy.

The Star Awards were launched by National Pubwatch to celebrate its 20 years and to highlight the important work being carried out by people who play a significant role in the success of their local Pubwatch schemes.

Shrewsbury licensee James Hitchin from the Albert Lounge was given the award for his role as chair of the local Pubwatch scheme in Shropshire.

He has been involved in a number of initiatives to reduce crime and disorder within the evening economy through partnership working with West Mercia Police, street pastors and taxi marshals.

He has also championed the town's purple flag award, managed the radio network scheme as well as ensuring that staff from its 75-plus members receive regular training from crime scene management to counter terrorism awareness.

Shrewsbury business improvement district partnership development manager Aleks Vladimirov said: “James is an inspiration to Pubwatch. Being a successful businessman and a Shrewsbury lad, he has helped the Pubwatch grow in strength. This has helped the town centre grow and footfall increase.”

Three Cumbrian licensees also received a the same honour at an event hosted by JD Wetherspoon at the Justice of the Peace pub in Keswick earlier this week.

These were handed out to Dave MacKenzie from Ulverston Pubwatch scheme, Mike Vose from Carlisle Pubwatch scheme, and Gary Quigley from Keswick Pubwatch scheme.

“I was delighted to present Dave, Mike and Gary with their Star Awards, and to be able to recognise their exceptional contribution,” said Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall.

“I’ve always said that we need to work together to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, and the Pubwatch scheme is a great example of a voluntary, community-based crime prevention scheme, which is helping to keep Cumbria a safe place."

Joe Murray from National Pubwatch said: “Pubwatch schemes have proved to be a valuable asset when dealing with violence and antisocial behaviour linked to the night-time economy.

"With a reduction of policing resources, there is a greater expectation that licensees take more responsibility for dealing with such issues on licensed premises.

"In Cumbria and elsewhere, the effectiveness of Pubwatch schemes is very apparent with the prospect of people who misbehave being threatened with being banned from all pubs." 

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