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Police Licensing Officers has suggested I join Pubwatch?

Is this something I have to do?

Q. I had a visit over the weekend from the local Police Licensing Officer to discuss an incident from the previous weekend. A fight had broken out in the pub which then spilled outside and apparently it involved a couple of trouble makers who are known locally. The Police have suggested that I become a member of Pub Watch and regularly attend their meetings. Is this something that I have to do?

A. Attendance at Pub Watch is not obligatory unless you have a condition on your licence which states that you must regularly attend Pub Watch meetings. Some licences do have such a condition. The point is, however, that attendance at Pub Watch is a good idea in any event. It enables you to be aware of local issues including the identities of known trouble makers as well as forthcoming enforcement campaigns such as test purchasing and so on. It also enables you to build a positive relationship with the Licensing Police which may benefit you should you experience further problems in your premises. If you don’t become involved in Pub Watch, this could be used as a point of criticism in any subsequent licensing hearing.

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