Publicans sign behaviour accord

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2014

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Publicans in the Waimate district are the latest to band together to try to stop trouble caused by late-night drunkenness.

Nine publicans signed an alcohol accord at the Studholme Hotel on Monday morning.

The aim of the accord is to build a better communication system between pubs and help reduce problems caused by alcohol abuse.

Signatories were the Masonic Hotel in St Andrews, Makikihi Country Hotel, Studholme Hotel, Glenavy Tavern, Waihao Forks Hotel, Waimate Hotel, Royal Tavern, Empire Tavern and the Waimate Rugby Football Club.

They follow publicans in Timaru who signed an accord in 2012, and Temuka and Geraldine, who signed in April.

Community and Public Health spokesman Shayne Broughton said the accord will help keep staff and patrons safe thanks to better communication between pubs.

"It's basically getting people in the industry together to create a standard of how they are dealing with drunkenness and how they are running premises."

Broughton said for example, if a patron was causing trouble at one pub and was asked to leave, that pub would get in touch with others to warn them not to let the patron in.

"On a monthly basis publicans will get together and talk to police, inspectors and health representatives. If they're not happy with anything . . . , they'll discuss it at the meeting."

Notes from the meeting will then be sent to each publican.

He said at meetings it was possible for publicans to decide whether to formally warn a troublesome patrons or ban them from local pubs.

"The police will police pubs like they normally do, but the best police for pubs are the pubs. They know about things before police do," Broughton said.

Waimate Hotel owner Bill Johnson is confident the accord will benefit publicans.

"We hope it works. I think it will be a help. If you get a couple of guys playing up and you put them out the door it's good to be able to let the other pubs know. It's a good way to help the staff out."

Based on police statistics, Broughton believes the accord has cut violence at pubs in Timaru, Temuka and Geraldine. "Statistics do say it's safer," he said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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