Welwyn Hatfield licensees to ban troublemakers

UNDERAGE drinking, anti-social behaviour and shoplifting could all be a thing of the past now licencees across Welwyn Hatfield have joined forces.

Offwatch, which works like Pubwatch, was launched on Friday aiming at giving more power to people working in off-licences and supermarkets.

Licensees will be able to ban nuisance youths or adults buying alcohol for youngsters from every shop in the Offwatch scheme.

Backed by Welwyn Hatfield Community Safety Partnership, which includes the borough council, the police and Trading Standards, all 55 stores across the borough have been invited to join.

Alcohol partnership co-ordinator Katherine Collen spoke at the launch event.

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She said: “If an adult is buying age-restricted products, Offwatch members can collectively decide to ban those individuals, they will then be banned from all off-licensed premises.”

Police licensing officer Stewart Budd said: “There’s a particular issue that’s occurring with proxy sales. “Anything that can be done to stop that is a good thing as we all realise it can lead to crime and disorder.

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“Underage drinkers can also be the victim of crime, particularly young females.”

The watch will be run by its members and they can decide how they keep in contact with each other.

To become part of Offwatch email k.collen@welhat.gov.uk

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