Licensees show red card to 1,600 troublemakers

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MORE than 1,600 people have been shown the red card for causing trouble in pubs and clubs.

Licensees are using the scheme to help reduce alcohol and drug-related violence in Portsmouth’s drinking areas.

A year after Operation Red Card was set up Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership has won support from 127 venues across the city and is growing rapidly.

One half of the red card is kept by the venue that issues it and contains details of the person’s name, address, date of birth and reasons for it being given. The other half is handed to the drinker to explain why their behaviour is unacceptable.

If a person is refused entry to a venue or service at a bar or asked to leave because they have drunk too much alcohol, are suspected of using drugs, or are behaving anti-socially, because they may cause trouble they could be handed a red cad and sent packing.

Door staff and managers share this information across a radio network to not let that individual enter any of the other venues in the area.

Neeta Dhorajia, crime manager for Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership, said: ‘We collect all the information handed to us by door staff and enter it into our intelligence database. If the individual causes problems again, we take a closer look at them and their behaviour.

‘If this individual becomes a persistent offender we will take more drastic action to reduce the reoffending and apply for banning notices, exclusion orders and anti-social behaviour orders.’

The scheme is among a raft of measures being used to drive down alcohol-related crime in Portsmouth.

Others include the police’s Operation Babyface set up by PC Keith Hall in which fake or borrowed IDs including driving licences and passports are seized.

Schemes include the News-backed operation Drinksafe which aims to combat alcohol-related crime and disorder.

Cars are banned from Guildhall Walk at night and bars contribute to funding taxi marshals who help direct drinkers to cabs to help them get home safely and minimise trouble. Volunteer Street Pastors help people in need in drinking areas on weekend nights. The Safe Space clinic treats revellers who hurt themselves or need help on nights out.

And the One Punch Can Kill campaign was recently launched in the city to highlight alcohol-related violence and the dangers.

Neeta said: ‘We are taking a proactive approach to alcohol-related violence with the Drinksafe campaign and the One Punch Can Kill campaign.

‘We also donate radios to the Street Pastors and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust who operate Safe Space, so they are also part of the communication loop, CCTV and the Police Violent Crime and Licensing Team.’