Campaign to make nights out better and safer in Durham

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A CAMPAIGN which helps big nights out be better and safer is under way once again.

The Best Bar None scheme has launched for the sixth year in Durham, and aims to create a safer, more attractive and welcoming experience, with 81 bars taking part this year.

It links in with a national scheme, backed by the Home Office, and since it was set up by Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary and the city’s university it has been credited with reducing crime in the city.

Members say they have benefitted from an increase in customers and turnover.

Support includes free equipment, such as drug safes and metal detectors, and free training on conflict management and drug awareness.

Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “This award-winning scheme is a huge testament to each and every licensee that has participated in the past.

“In 2012 we saw fantastic results, with violence reduced by over a half since launching Best Bar None for the first time in 2008 – that was a staggering 385 fewer offences.

“We’re delighted to be able to continue running this scheme this year, and look forward to building on the success we’ve already achieved together.”