New Pubwatch Chair Wants Bans Only For Serious Offences

James Francis, new Chair of Pubwatch

The new Chair of Scilly’s Pubwatch, James Francis, has outlined his views on how the licensee body should operate for the next year.

James says Scilly is special and he’d prefer that national pubwatch guidelines are interpreted with local need in mind.

He believes that the body needs to recognise that we don’t have significant problems here and that the social activity in the pubs is an important part of life on the islands for visitors, locals and seasonal workers.

Under his leadership, Pubwatch won’t deal with anything other than serious misdemeanours – the sort that would warrant criminal investigation by the police – and those, he says are extremely rare on the islands.

James says one of the biggest problems for Pubwatch in previous years has been allegations of inconsistency in how and what people have been banned for, adding a one year ban from pubs in Scilly is a very harsh penalty.

Now information on what is unacceptable behaviour is being displayed at premises and only serious misdemeanours, such as acts of violence or drug taking, or persistent bad behaviour will be brought to Pubwatch meetings.

James says the police’s inolvment in Pubwatch should be in an advisory role and it is for licencees to decide what is discussed and what action is taken.