A SCHEME to help reduce drunken violence and pub-related crimes in Bangor has been hailed a "success."

The Pubwatch initiative is helping to reduce alcohol-related crime since the introduction of a ‘What’s App’ group for licensee’s and staff.

Pubwatch in Bangor was established several years ago as a joint venture between local police and licensed premises.

The focus was to achieve a safe, secure and responsibly led social drinking environment in Bangor licensed premises.

According to organisers, it has 'moved on a long way' since members would just attend monthly meetings to be informed of individuals facing banning orders or receive intelligence about known trouble makers.

Since the start of 2017, members can communicate and be updated by a bespoke ‘What’s App’ group set up on North Wales Police-provided mobile phones.

Martin Angus, licensee of the Varsity in Bangor and chairman of the Pubwatch group who manages the scheme, said: "The ‘What’s App’ group has proved an invaluable tool in combating ASB (anti social behaviour) across members bars and clubs.

“It allows the early and immediate sharing of information about known trouble makers, banned persons or potential flash points and gives our staff the opportunity to nip any trouble ‘in the bud’ or summon

“Police support before more serious trouble occurs. Not only does this provide a safer environment for all our customers and city visitors but it also provides reassurance to staff."

The App also allows police officers to share information about crime taking place in licensed premises or even vulnerable or missing people believed to frequent certain pubs or clubs.

PC Lisa Thomas at Bangor Police Station, who helps coordinate the scheme said: ‘It’s simply about helping keep people safe, be they pub or clubs goers, licensed premises staff or even visitors to the city in the vicinity of pub and clubs.

“The App has proved invaluable. It’s also proved vital when looking for missing and vulnerable people and so helps reduce demand too. I’d  like to thank the venue secretary of Bangor and Bacbac for supporting the purchase of phones and Vodafone Bangor for their continued support."

Martin Angus added: "The system is very user friendly, efficient and proven to be very effective and can only get better with more participants. Pubwatch is getting stronger, but could be stronger still if every licensed premises were on board’

For further information on Pubwatch email Martin Angus at info@varsitybangor.co.uk. Alternatively contact PC Lisa Thomas at Bangor Police Station 07896 170 409 or Lisa.Thomas@nthwales.pnn.police.uk