STIRLING Council has joined forces with Police Scotland, GoForth Stirling and local licensed premises to give the Pub Watch Scheme a fresh lease of life across the City’s bars and clubs.

The information-sharing, public safety scheme has been refreshed in a bid to ensure alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour affecting the evening trade in the city-centre is addressed, with eight licensed premises already on board.

Run by the Pub Watch Association in cities across the UK, the scheme allows premises to communicate any issues with partners, police and the council and has the power to issue banning orders to named individuals.

The enforcement action is designed to act as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour by banning offenders from all participating premises, rather than just one where the incident may have taken place.

Its key objectives are to:

· Tackle and prevent anti-social behaviour through effective communication and prompt reporting

· Promote a sense of security for customers and staff

· Improve police/licensee liaison by providing effective communications through two-way radios and on-line services.

Stirling Council’s Public Safety Committee Convenor, Councillor Maureen Bennison said: “Ensuring the safety of our citizens, visitors and staff in the licenced trade is a top priority for the Council.

“Our pubs, clubs and other licenced premises are places where patrons can enjoy themselves in a relaxed manner, whether they are a local resident enjoying a pint at their local pub or a visitor sampling the nightlife.

“We want to maintain that positive atmosphere and the Pub Watch scheme helps to achieve that by drawing a clear line in the sand over what is considered acceptable behaviour.”

With the initiative now underway again, exclusion notices have already been delivered to two individuals, restricting their access to the eight premises signed up to the project.

Danielle McRorie-Smith, chair of the Pub Watch Stirling group, hopes word will soon start to spread and other premises will join up.

She said: “Our message is clear - anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated within or in the vicinity of licensed premises.

“Being involved in the Pub Watch scheme sets the right tone, gives members access to an expanded network of partners and carries the caveat that anyone involved in anti-social behaviour will be excluded from every premises in the group, rather than only one, for a minimum period of one year.”

Chief Inspector Gill Boulton, Police Scotland Local Area Commander for Stirling, said: “The re-launch of the Pub Watch scheme is the culmination of months of discussion and planning between police, Stirling Council and the licensed premises within Stirlingshire.

“It demonstrates our joint commitment to ensuring those enjoying the area’s various pubs and clubs can do so safely and without fear of being involved in crimes of violence or disorder.

“We welcome the return of this initiative as another tool in our ongoing efforts to deter antisocial behaviour and associated crime throughout Stirlingshire.”

Jon Walton of Go Forth Stirling, secretary of the Pub Watch group and on behalf of the Business Improvement Districts said: “Go Forth Stirling are delighted to be able to support Pub Watch. This gets our night time economy businesses talking to each other in partnership with the Police and other stakeholders to ensure we have a vibrant and safe city centre.

“We intend to join the day and night time businesses together with a view to obtaining Purple Flag status and my thanks go to Danielle McRorie-Smith and her team for all their efforts in pulling this together.”