Bars urged to play it safe

MERRY MESSAGE: PCSO Sam Level, who is urging bars, pubs and clubs to help those celebrating Christmas and New Year stay safe.
MERRY MESSAGE: PCSO Sam Level, who is urging bars, pubs and clubs to help those celebrating Christmas and New Year stay safe.
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A FESTIVE message has been delivered to more than 100 bars in the hope they will ensure customers have a merry – and safe – Christmas.

Letters have been sent out to pubs and clubs across East Durham and will also go to venues across Durham City as they prepare to welcome in festive revellers.

Police Community Support Officer Sam Level, who is a licensing officer, said: “We’re not saying people shouldn’t be having a drink and fun, but we want to make sure there’s no disorder.

“We want them to think about everybody having a good time.”

A total of 120 premises have been sent the letters, with more to go out in Durham and its surrounding villages in coming days.

The messages outline pubs and clubs’ responsibilities to prevent crime, disorder and nuisance and ensure the public are kept safe and keep children from harm.

They are also being reminded of the need to serve only to those old enough to drink, warning them they could lose their licence if they sell to anyone under age.

They could also be slapped with fines of up to £5,000 for the offence. The sale of drink to a customer believed to be drunk is also against the law, with a fine of £1,000 liable.

The same amount can be levied if the bar allows disorderly conduct on the premises.

The letter highlights how police can also serve them with penalty notices for breaches.

In addition to passports and photo driving licences, the proof of age scheme ID4U has been rolled out across the county to help young people prove their age when they are buying restricted items and take advantage of reduced fares on transport.

The notice stresses the importance of licence holders working with the police to reduce problems and calls for their support in reducing alcohol-related problems.

The businesses are also encouraged to get in touch if they need help or further information.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham