Best Bar None

A new scheme, Best Bar None, is being launched in York to improve safety and standards in York’s many pubs, bars and clubs. The scheme will give awards to establishments that improve their safety record and contribute to a reduction in alcohol related crime.

The new scheme launched by York City Council in conjunction with the Safer York Partnership comes at a time when a string of sexual attacks have occurred in York city centre and more students are choosing town over empty campus bars threatened with closure.

Whilst alcohol related crime has dropped 11% nationally and 20% in York, despite longer licensing hours, City licensing manager John Lacy, said “we have been working with the Safer York Partnership to try and make the city even safer.”

The scheme, which has recently successfully been introduced in Manchester and Leeds, aims to reduce binge and underage drinking and alcohol related violence. Venues will also be encouraged to share knowledge and pass on good practice.

The annual award will be given to premises with effective door policies, crime prevention plans and tough policies on drink and drugs. Venues will be judge by a team from the council and rewarded with a plaque and a certificate.

In addition to introducing the Best Bar None scheme York City Council are bringing in stricter controls to check the records of hackney carriage and private hire taxi drivers in York.

The new regulations are aimed at foreign driver and attempt to prevent drivers with criminal records gaining licenses. It is being introduced to protect York passengers who make 40,000 journeys in cabs every week.

Licensing committee chairman Gilbert Nimmo, has welcomed both schemes and said: “The awards will be an incentive to pubs and clubs to make improvements which will benefit the population of York.”

Student reaction top the planned scheme has been muted. Holly Teanby a 3rd year Psychology student said “York is so safe anyway compared to other cities but I suppose any plan to make it safer is a good idea”