SEVENTY-FOUR troublemakers have been banned from Sunderland’s pubs and clubs by police.
Officers have successfully identified and removed a hardcore group of yobs intent on causing problems for city centre drinkers.
The bans have been achieved by police working in conjunction with pub and club owners through the city’s Pubwatch scheme.
Last week the Echo reported how four troublemakers had been removed from premises during January.
This now brings the total number of bans to 74.
Bar staff today told how the scheme was working well in identifying those intent on causing trouble.
“I think the scheme’s a great idea,” said Michael Stelling, barman at the Chesters pub.
“We don’t usually have much of a problem but, because of the scheme, we have a good idea of who the trouble makers are so we can deal with them as soon as they come in.
“I think others should embrace it if possible as the scheme works better with more bars involved.”
Katy Casey, a supervisor at Ttonic, added: “Pubwatch is a great scheme for us.
“It gives bars regular updates and pictures of who’s banned which the management pass on to us.
“Being located in the city centre, you always end up with the occasional bit of trouble, so a scheme that provides procedures to identify and deal with troublemakers is idea.”
Ben Iland, a barman at Varsity, said: “I’ve not found the scheme particularly helpful yet, as I’ve been here two years so I know who to look out for.
“However, on the odd occasion we do have a problem, we make them known to Pubwatch and they take it from there.
“I think the scheme makes Sunderland a nicer place to enjoy a drink as people feel more comfortable going out knowing trouble makers are being dealt with.”
Mick Hall, city centre Neighbourhood Inspector, said: “If we see any individual or group behaving in a way that has the potential to cause trouble we will not hesitate to intervene before it gets out of hand.
“We’re working hard to make the city centre an even safer place to enjoy a night out - don’t let being drunk ruin it for you.”