People who cause drink-fuelled trouble in pubs and clubs across Whitehaven face a bar ban spanning both this Christmas – and next.
Any Pubwatch bans handed out in the town this month are set to run for 13 months, potentially ruining the social lives of those who cause trouble for two successive festive seasons.
The move has been brought in to help deter trouble in the town during one of the busiest times of the year for licensees.
It is also intended to help pub and club staff provide a safe and vibrant night out for all as people celebrate the season.
The move comes as Cumbria Constabulary continues to call on people to drink responsibly and walk away from any trouble this festive season.
Any bans would cover around 25 public houses and further off-license premises.
Bans normally run for between one month and one year, although bans for the most serious offences run for two years. There is even a lifetime ban if the circumstances deem it to be proportionate.
Pubwatch bans could be handed out following offences such as assault, disorder and drugs crime.
Sergeant David Macdonald, of the town’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “We fully support this robust action.
“It means those causing trouble face a ban that impacts on their social life both this Christmas – and next.
“The Whitehaven pubwatch scheme is dedicated and keen to ensure people see the town as a safe and inviting place.
“If you believe that the ban has no relevance, then think again.
“This is a fantastic time of year and a ban such as this prevents you from enjoying the nights out on offer here.
“We will continue to work with licensed premises staff to ensure these premises remain a safe and inviting place for all law-abiding members of the community and are also a safe workplace for those employed in the licensed trade.”
Jason Fisher, chairman of Whitehaven Pubwatch, said: “A move such as this deals appropriately with individuals who commit trouble in pubs.
“What we’re doing is aiming to make sure people can come out to enjoy a safe and enjoyable night.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Christmas is meant to be a time of celebration with friends and family but unfortunately there are always a small number of people who just take it too far.
“Too often this leads to trouble which creates stress and even injury for pub goers, pub owners, pub staff and even the police.
“So I am very pleased to see Pubwatch partners imposing robust but appropriate bans meaning that anyone causing trouble will be put on a ban for the next 13 months.
“This will hopefully mean that any troublemakers will be off the streets and pubs so that everyone else can get back to enjoying themselves responsibly and safely.
“These measures are not about spoiling anyone’s fun but people should be clear: if you do cause trouble you will face robust consequences.
“Know your limits, have a good time, get home safe and don’t ruin your Christmas by having to sit it out.”