Technology to battle trouble
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.
Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON.