Tech­nol­ogy to bat­tle trou­ble

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By BEN TRUSLOVE ben.truslove@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­ben­truslove

Pc Gra­hame Robin­son is pic­tured with a team who are launch­ing the new Night­safe scheme for the city. (METP-22-05-12RH102) CUT­TING edge tech­nol­ogy is the lat­est weapon in the fight against drunken yobs in the city cen­tre.

Smart phones, ipads and com­put­ers are be­ing used to share in­for­ma­tion be­tween pubs, clubs and the po­lice as part of the new Night­safe scheme.

It means any­one barred from a pub in Peter­bor­ough will be given a red card and be banned for six months from ev­ery venue in the city which is part of the scheme.

A pub or club can choose to bar any­one who be­haves in an in­tim­i­dat­ing or vi­o­lent man­ner, is in­volved in drug deal­ing, is in pos­ses­sion of a weapon, buys al­co­hol for an un­der­age per­son and as­so­ciates with a crim­i­nal gang.

If they at­tempt to en­ter a pub and they are spot­ted, the ban will be restarted from that point.

The scheme launched on April 2, and 17 peo­ple have al­ready been barred and more than 70 pubs and clubs have signed up.

Pc Gra­hame Robin­son, who over­sees the project, said: “Our mes­sage is come to Peter­bor­ough and have a great time.

“But those who want to cause crime and dis­or­der are not wel­come. We will find them and take ac­tion.

“We have had sim­i­lar schemes in the past but the li­censed premises are re­ally be­hind this one.”

The new tech­nol­ogy is called Se­cure In­ci­dent Com­mu­nity En­gage­ment Sys­tem (Sircs) and is al­ready in place in other ar­eas in­clud­ing Cam­bridge and Nor­folk.

Land­lords, the po­lice and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil can log in to see and add in­for­ma­tion which is shared be­tween them across Peter­bor­ough.

Pc Robin­son added that be­cause Sircs is used in other ar­eas in the coun­try, in­for­ma­tion can be flagged up about no­to­ri­ous of­fend­ers in those places who may be trav­el­ling to Peter­bor­ough for big events such as foot­ball matches.

All of the data fed into the sys­tem by the land­lords is mod­er­ated by Pc Robin­son to pre­vent any abuse of the fa­cil­ity.

Dar­ren Dolby, li­cens­ing reg­u­la­tory of­fi­cer at the coun­cil, said: “All of the in­for­ma­tion is held in a se­cure sys­tem. Each mem­ber signs a data in­tegrity agree­ment and if any­one breaks it they will be pros­e­cuted.”

Ami Veni runs pro­mo­tions and events at Halo Night­club, in North­min­ster, and has wel­comed the scheme.

She said: “I think it is a re­ally good way of man­ag­ing the peo­ple that you don’t want on the premises. I think this will be suc­cess­ful. There have been other schemes in the past, but this one looks like it will work much bet­ter.

“It’s been re­ally care­fully thought through and re­searched. We’ve al­ready got some of the most no­to­ri­ous faces on the sys­tem, but we have to be care­ful not to put peo­ple on who have been in­volved in one in­ci­dent that wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily their fault.

“But I think this is the best way of deal­ing with the prob­lems.”

Po­lice will also be able to use Sircs to gather in­for­ma­tion and iden­tify per­sis­tent of­fend­ers to help take more for­mal ac­tion.

As well as the new Sircs sys­tem the Safer­peter­bor­ough Part­ner­ship is cur­rently rolling out dig­i­tal walkie-talkies to re­place the old ana­logue net­work, pro­vid­ing clearer lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

They are used to warn other pubs about trou­ble­some cus­tomers and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour in their area.

hard­line:

Picture: ROW­LAND HOB­SON.

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