A ‘Pubwatch’ scheme has been reintroduced in Lewis and Harris.
Most of the licensees in Stornoway have met several times over recent weeks and decided to adopt a Pubwatch scheme closely based on a model which has been successfully introduced in Orkney.
Pubwatch seeks to promote a safe and welcoming environment in all licensed premises, together with a safe workplace for staff, and is supported by Police Scotland and the Licensing Board of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Under the scheme, unacceptable behaviour in one licensed premises can result in a ban from all Pubwatch premises, with the length of the ban dependent on the nature of the behaviour. Abusive and threatening behaviour, violence, and drugs misuse is particularly targeted, and anyone caught drinking under age will be banned until six months after their 18th birthday.
The Co-ordinator of the Orkney scheme said, “We explain the scheme by telling people that if they misbehave in a pub on the weekend, they won’t be able to have a meal with their mother on Wednesday or go to a family wedding next month.
"The message is getting home and behaviour has improved significantly since the scheme was introduced.”
Lewis & Harris Pubwatch is emphasising that it sends out the same message, and hopes that the need to enforce bans will be very infrequent.
Councillor Norrie Macdonald, Chair of the Western Isles Licensing Board, said: “I fully support the aims of this scheme and commend the work of Norine Macdonald and Peter Macarthur together with Lewis and Harris licensees in reestablishing a system that will benefit the community by reducing anti-social behaviour.”
Norine Macdonald and Peter Macarthur are both involved in the New Lewis on North Beach, Stornoway