DRINK-RELATED crimes in York have fallen since the launch of an initiative in which licensees unite to make the city centre a safer place to socialise at night.

The figures were revealed by the police’s Safer York Partnership at the fifth meeting of the York Pubwatch group.

According to Pubwatch chairman Chris Bateman there has been a year-on-year reduction in the number of reported late- night crimes in the city centre over the past five months.

Mr Bateman also said Pubwatch had finalised an information sharing scheme with police, which would help keep known troublemakers out of pubs and clubs.

He told the meeting: “The licensees of York are much better equipped to identify undesirable individuals and refuse them admission to the licensed premises in York, allowing the vast majority of people to enjoy a great night out in York this festive season.

“We are really keen to involve all the pubs, bars and venues in York city centre and welcome licensees to come to the next meeting.”

Mr Bateman said the aim of York Pubwatch was to “gather, collate, exchange and manage all information relating to crime, its commission, and perpetrators by members of York Pubwatch, to reduce and prevent criminality and antisocial behaviour, in order to create a safe and secure environment within”.

He said: “The York Pubwatch scheme has now held five meetings and is growing steadily. More than 30 licensed premises and five security agencies are now involved and we are starting to see some really positive results from the collaborative platform.

“We are currently working on creating a PASS hologram ID card scheme to help tackle identification fraud and also aid international visitors and students to experience the York nightlife with greater ease.”

The next meeting of the York Pubwatch scheme is at 2pm on Wednesday, February 13.

Details from Chris Bateman on c.bateman@yorksj.ac.uk