BARS, pubs and clubs are being recognised for their part in a pioneering scheme aimed at keeping nightlife safe.
Bolton’s Best Bar None project has been praised for helping to reduce violence in the town centre, with 28 venues now signed up to join in. Last week, the organisations involved in the scheme gathered for an awards evening which celebrated the work done across the borough. More than 100 people attended the event, held at the Lion of Vienna Suite, at the Bolton Whites Hotel, and received certificates for complying with a number of conditions. Depending on the work they have done businesses receive different awards from bronze up to platinum.
Best Bar None is jointly arranged by GMP and Bolton Council, with the help of venue owners and managers from across the town.
“It was a really positive event,” said Andy Vernon, GMP’s Bolton licensing officer. “Venues that haven’t been part of Best Bar None are already asking to get involved in the scheme. “I want to say thank you to everyone that came along. The venue was great and we’ve already booked it again for next year.”
Recently, with university students returning to Bolton, the scheme has seen a range of new initiatives added, including the introduction of hand held metal detectors as part of the strategy to battle knife crime in Bolton.
In addition, many bars are now taking part in Ask for Angela, which gives members of the public a discreet code word that they can give to staff in participating establishments if they feel vulnerable or threatened and be taken to get help in a safe location.
From last year, Best Bar None venues have also been taking steps to ensure customers get home safely after a night out, by displaying information on how to spot a licensed taxi.
The Get Home Safe scheme also encompasses a number of taxis which display stickers to allow customers easily identify they are a fully licensed and complainant taxi.
The initiative aims to help people feel confident that the vehicle they are travelling in is safe and monitored by the authorities.
Explaining the Best Bar None project, Insp Karen Clappison from GMP’s Bolton district said: “We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy everything Bolton has to offer, in the safest possible environment by working with our partners, Bolton Council, local businesses and licensed premises.
“It’s so important for our venues, licensees, security firms and taxi drivers and all of those involved in our night time economy to work together to make Bolton town centre a great place to enjoy a night out.”