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Monthly News Bulletin

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Three Strikes and You're Banned

TROUBLEMAKERS in pubs now run the risk of being banned from licensed premises across Wigtownshire.

And if they are caught offending three times they will now be banned for life.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the Pubwatch schemes in Stranraer, Newton Stewart and the Machars merged.

Licensees believe the move will not only make the scheme bigger but also stronger by taking on each others’ exclusions.

Anyone banned from member premises in Stranraer will also be locked out of similar premises further east.

And once again if it is discovered that a banned person either attempted to enter or entered a Pubwatch premise in either scheme they will face an automatic extension to their original ban.

To go one step further the schemes have also introduced a three-strike rule, meaning that if any person comes to the attention of either Pubwatch scheme three times they will automatically be banned for life.

There will be no exceptions to that rule no matter how minor the person involved believes the incidents to be.

Constable Gavin McHallum from the Stranraer Pubwatch committee said: “This merger sends out a clear message to those who feel the need to misbehave and get involved in anti social behavior in our towns, that our local licensees will not tolerate it and are united in stamping out this type of behavior.

“It will make our area an even safer place for the majority of people to enjoy themselves on a night out whether it is with family or with friends.”

The purpose of this scheme is to act as a deterrent and is intended to make people think twice about getting involved in street disorder and antisocial behaviour when out socialising.

Constable Nicola McFadzean, who helps in the running of the Newton Stewart/Machars scheme, said: “Antisocial and criminal behavior in and around licensed premises is all too common.

“People involved continually fail to learn of the consequences that their actions can have. It is often innocent bystanders trying to enjoy a night out who get hurt.

“The licensees have decided to link the two schemes together which will send out a strong message to those misbehaving and the consequences their actions could have.

“We are supporting licensees to make licensed premises safer for patrons to enjoy themselves and to protect staff working in the premises by sharing information about known trouble makers in the two areas”.

Meanwhile police in Stranraer have launched Operation Festive Spirit Drinkers.

The pro-active campaign will patrol in and around all types of licensed premises in Stranraer and the surrounding villages during the busy festive period.

The aim is to give advice and support to workers within the licensing trade in dealing with problems they might face.

Constable McHallum said: “Historically the festive period shows an increase in antisocial behaviour in and around the Stranraer area and this campaign is aimed at reducing this by putting a higher profile police presence on our streets.

“At the moment there are 25 people excluded from entering licensed premises in the Stranraer area through the local Pubwatch scheme, and it would be great if we didn’t have to add any more names to this list.”

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