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Volunteers recognised for leading initiative to reduce alcohol-related crime in Sunderland

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt and Bill Sproates with the three volunteers, Nik Chapman, Barrie Neaber and Nick Owens.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt and Bill Sproates with the three volunteers, Nik Chapman, Barrie Neaber and Nick Owens.
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Three volunteers in Sunderland and South Tyneside have been recognised for their services to the local community after leading an initiative aimed at reducing alcohol-related crime.

Police presented Nik Chapman, Barrie Neaber and Nick Owens with a ‘star award’ on behalf of National Pubwatch, a voluntary organisation which aims to achieve a safer drinking environment in all licensed premises across the UK.

The trio all chair successful local pubwatch schemes in Sunderland, South Shields and Washington respectively. The awards were presented in recognition of their contribution and long-running commitment to making the region a safer place.

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt was joined by recently-retired licensing coordinator Bill Sproates, who last month left the Force after 44 years’ service, to present the awards at South Shields’ Millbank station.

“The pubwatch scheme is a brilliant example of great partnership working between police and the local community and continues to have a positive impact on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour,” Ch Supt Pitt said.

“It is a scheme that works well and allows members to share information and advice with other licensees about drunk or rowdy customers.

“Staff can also use their Pubwatch radios to identify troublemakers to police, and barring action can subsequently be taken where necessary.

“This is a voluntary scheme which makes a big difference. It was a pleasure to present Nik, Barrie and Nick with their awards to recognise the work they do to help ensure Sunderland and South Tyneside remain safe places for people to visit and socialise in.”