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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 12:50 GMT
Santa Claus hats banned from pub
A pub landlady has banned Christmas revellers from wearing Santa Claus hats in her bar - for security reasons.

Sam Ingram, who runs the Wheatsheaves in Frome, Somerset, fears the festive headwear could prevent staff from identifying brawling Santas.

But local police said they had no intelligence to suggest Santa hats were an immediate risk to the public.

Mrs Ingram, 33, said she had had the same policy for five years and no-one had complained.

"There's no headwear after 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday," she said.

Fake white beards

"There are no exceptions and there never have been, not even for Santa hats.

"We have got CCTV cameras and we need a clear view of the customers' faces so they can be identified if necessary.

A rampage of anti-social Father Christmases is something we are not expecting this year
Inspector Sean Williams

"Just because people are dressed up as Santas doesn't mean they couldn't start a riot.

"We just want to make sure people have a safe place to enjoy their Christmas drink."

Freda Searle, 84, landlady of the town's Lamb and Fountain pub since 1968, said: "Some people need to get into the Christmas spirit.

"Loads of people who come in here wear all sorts of hats, and it's only once a year.

"All of us wear Santa hats behind the bar. It's part of Christmas."

Inspector Sean Williams, of Frome Police, said: "We can understand pubs having problems identifying men with fake white beards on their CCTV.

"But a rampage of anti-social Father Christmases is something we are not expecting this year."




SEE ALSO
Santa beards barred by pub chain
23 Dec 04 |  Cambridgeshire
Cabbies' Santa beards banned
18 Dec 03 |  Wales

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