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Friday, 03 July 2015

West Cumbrian pub barred from joining safety scheme

A Workington pub has been barred from joining the town’s police-run Pubwatch scheme.

LANDLORD: Trevor Pepper

Trevor Pepper, landlord of Vinnie’s Bar, has complained that police blocked him from installing a pubwatch radio in the Finkle Street pub, formerly the Appletree.

It was intended for staff and the pub’s security team to share vital information about troublemakers with other venues and the police.

Mr Pepper and Steve Carini, of SPC Security, have complained to the police watchdog. Mr Carini said he met Inspector Craig Lory, who would not give specific reasons for the police decision but in a subsequent letter cited “operational police reasons”.

Mr Carini said: “They’re saying it’s because they don’t want people hearing what’s going on but they have got radios in all the bars.”

He said the plan was for a radio to be handled only by a door supervisor with an earpiece. He claimed door supervisors could be at risk because it would be harder to summon police by phone while trying to deal with a situation.

He added that police told him the Nortech radios were intended for passing intelligence only and were not for summoning police help.

Mr Pepper said: “We want answers and we want to let other landlords know they’re paying for something that’s neither use nor ornament.”

A police spokesman said: “The police do respond daily to calls over the radio for police attendance.

“Nortech’s guidance for calling for assistance is that users should first call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. They do state, however, that if a phone is not to hand the radio can be used.”

He said 15 licensed premises were in the Workington Pubwatch scheme and two pubs had been refused a radio.

The pub, which has had a turbulent two years, was bought by Anita Gilpin in 2011 for her niece to run but Mrs Gilpin ended up running it. Its premises licence was suspended in March over concern about the way it was run, and in April the licence was revoked.

Mr Pepper now leases the pub from Mrs Gilpin, and it reopened as Vinnie’s Bar in July.

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