A FIFTH person has been banned from pubs in Huntingdon following an assault on a member of staff, the chairman of the town’s fledging Pubwatch scheme has confirmed.

The person joins four others on a blacklist of troublemakers no longer allowed in 11 pubs and clubs in the town.

Two people were given lifetime bans, one a 12 month and another a six month ban following the launch of Huntingdon Pubwatch last month.

The latest six-month ban was agreed by Pubwatch members at a meeting held last Wednesday (November 2). The offender's picture, provided by the police, will be circulated to members, though their details will not be made public.

Pubwatch chairman Dave Hall, who is also manager of Level 2 nightclub, said the latest ban was proof the new scheme meant business.

"From our point of view it is very easy to enforce bans as I have a team of security who man the doors, but obviously not all venues have that.

"With the pubs, as soon as they mention Pubwatch, people tend to leave."

Level 2 nightclub, Cromwells Bar, The Market Inn, The George Hotel, Samuel Pepys, The Three Tuns, The Barley Mow, The Sun Inn, The Victoria Inn, The Lord Protector and The Golden Knight are all currently Pubwatch members, though that could change depending on the outcome of today's licence review for The Golden Knight.

Huntingdonshire District Council's licensing sub-committee could revoke or suspend the pub's licence following police reports of disorder and drug use at the premises.

But despite this setback, Mr Hall said members were pushing ahead with plans to extend Pubwatch to Godmanchester and Buckden.

He added two-way radios, issued to staff at all the Pubwatch premises, have already had an immediate impact on the ability of publicans' to respond to problems.

"We can report every bit of activity we see going up and down the street, as we now have a direct link to the CCTV control room and the police.

"We can take and share information with anybody just by picking up a radio. We hear if someone is refused from one venue and moves on to another. We can pass that information back and forth.

"We are being proactive in reducing all kinds of activities whilst pushing forward as a conglomerate of businesses."

Figures collated by Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership and presented to HDC last week showed levels of violent crime per pub in Huntingdon were, on average, twice that of anywhere else in the district.

But Mr Hall questioned the accuracy of the study, and said he and Pubwatch members feel crime rates are down. "Everything I'm hearing is contrary to that report."