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Nightsafe and Pub Watch schemes

The Nightsafe and Pubwatch schemes were formed in partnership with local licensees, Police and the Local Authority. The schemes were formed to assist the four licensing objectives of the Licensing Act: The Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Public Safety, The Prevention of Public Nuisance and the Protection of Children from Harm.

The scheme aims are to promote responsible drinking and to ensure that residents, businesses and visitors are able to enjoy the benefits of the vibrant community without the risk or fear of any nuisance or disorder caused by the behaviour of a few people intoxicated by alcohol.

Felixstowe Nightsafe scheme

Felixstowe Nightsafe was formed in 2002 by local licensees and supported by Suffolk Constabulary and the Suffolk Coastal Community Safety Partnership. The aim of the group is to make Felixstowe a safe place to have an enjoyable night out by working together to prevent and reduce violence, anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug related offences and general nuisance in or around licensed premises.

The ‘Banned from one, Banned from all’ means that patrons who commit acts of aggression are barred from all participating venues for between three months and live, depending on the severity of the act. 

When a patron is banned from one venue, their details are shared with other venues, which then also refuse them entry to premises. CSP Chair Steve Gallant commented: “by working in partnership over the years this scheme has a well co-ordinated response to identifying and preventing potential problems and Felixstowe is a safer place because of the dedication of local licensees”.

Banning Committee

The banning committee can consist of licensees, Police, resident representatives and council representatives. However, the group is predominantly run and led by licensees and it is their decision to who sits on this committee. The banning committee has the power to collectively ban those whose behaviour is or has been unacceptable from all Nightsafe premises. The group should have an elected chair and vice chair and have no less than four members that make up the committee. At no time should there be a member of public attending this committee who is currently on a nightsafe ban or who is to be discussed at the meeting for the consequences of their actions which has been brought to the attention of the group.

An incident occurs – information shared with the nightsafe group and then the banning group discuss after the meeting. The Chair to inform all licensees about incidents/individuals involved at Nightsafe meetings/update of folders or via e mail.

Banning Group meets – consider incident, individuals concerned and take proportionate, balanced and reasonable action. The bans are issued following incidents and as soon as the committee has made a decision on the information available. This will normally be within a matter of days and those excluded will, where possible, be notified by letter immediately or in person.

Warning Letter: This is sent to an individual for a first incident. If there is no know address for the individual, the chair or vice chair of the Banning Committee can inform the individual in person. The incident would be for a non-convicted crime and where there has been no display of violence or threatening behaviour.

3 – 6  Month Ban: For convicted crimes or non-convicted crimes where violence and threatening behaviour has been witnessed. If a recipient of a warning letter comes to the attention of the group again, a ban should be administered. If a banned individual enters a Nighsafe premises, their ban will be extended.

Life Ban: For persistent offenders. Should be reviewed every 1-3 years. If a banned individual enters a Nighsafe members premises and refuses to leave, Police should be contacted immediately.

Appeal Against Pubwatch Action: Banned individuals may appeal against a banning decision anytime. The appeal must be a written request sent to the Chair of the Banning Committee or Chair of the Nighsafe scheme. A decision about an appeal can be decided by the group by a separate meeting or via e mail/phone conference. Individuals that are appealing must not approach individual scheme members either in person, by phone  or by social media. 

Banning Criteria

OffenceMinimum judgement banSuggested aggravated

Drunk & Disorderly

Warning Letter

3 Month Ban

Threatening/Violent Behaviour and Minor Assault

6 Month Ban

12 Month Ban

Assault (ABH)

6 Month Ban +

12 Month Ban +

Assault (GBH)

12 Month Ban

24 Month Ban +

Drug Offences

6 Month Statutory Ban

Consider Extending Ban on Six Monthly Reviews

The above criteria should be considered for first offence only – consider increasing punishment 100% should aggravating factors apply.

Assault on Licensees, staff or Police must be considered a serious aggravating factor and in these circumstances the punishment must reflect this. Bans 200% to 300% should be considered depending on circumstances of offence.

Lifetime bans to be avoided unless exceptional circumstances apply. Bans until further notice reviewed every six months, or longer term bans of 3 to 5 years with a review and the end of term would be advantageous. This would allow the committee the option of imposing an increase in the ban should evidence be provided of a breach.

Aggravating circumstances

  • Repeat Offender
  • Assault on Licensed Premises
  • Assault on Licensees and or staff
  • Assault on Police
  • Racially Aggravated
  • Breach of Banning Notice