Bars could pay for CCTV

Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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BARS across the city may have to pay a levy if they stay open late.

And on Guildhall Walk, they may also have to pay for extra CCTV cameras

Portsmouth City Council hopes the government will hand it powers it promised before the General Election last year to charge late-night bars for policing costs.

Portsmouth Safer Partnership team estimates alcohol-related crime costs the city £41.6m per year, though this includes criminal damage and court costs.

But the council’s leader for community safety, Cllr Eleanor Scott, said: ‘There’s a large cost to police some areas of the city, and we think it’s fair for bars to contribute. These are powers we were promised by Home Secretary Theresa May, but they haven’t arrived yet. They’re important because for example, we have a domestic violence unit, and we want it fully staffed. But on some occasions we’ve had officers called off to police Guildhall Walk. The police shouldn’t have to do that.’

Barry Kewell, president of Albert Road and Southsea Pubwatch, said: ‘It’s not a bad idea, but it shouldn’t apply to everyone. It’s fair enough for bars where there’s a history of trouble, but many of our members don’t have that.’

Bars could also be charged for more CCTV cameras on Guildhall Walk, as not all the street is covered by them.