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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 01:23 GMT
Face surgeon backs city glass ban
Prof Jonathan Shepherd said glass was used as a weapon
A leading expert on glass injuries and tackling violent crime has backed Glasgow's glass ban describing it as "a major step forward" in public health.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, a face surgeon, said the introduction of a blanket ban in the city was "terrific".

He said the only way to reduce glass attacks was to take away availability.

Glasgow is introducing a no-glass policy for pubs and clubs in a controversial move which has met with some licensed trade opposition.

Prof Shepherd's comments come after a licensee launched a campaign opposing the ban.

Clubs and pubs with late night licences in Glasgow city centre have already introduced plastic and toughed glass. Others in Greater Glasgow must follow by the end of June.

Tragically someone may have a nerve sliced through or lose an eye
Prof Jonathan Shepherd

Mr Shepherd is professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Cardiff University.

He said weapons must be taken off the street.

"If there is one thing we know about weapons it is that availability is everything," he said.

"For example, if guns are available then people use them - the same applies to glass.

"Violence is concentrated in and around bars and reducing availability is likely to be very worthwhile."

Prof Shepherd ruled out calls from some sections of the licensed trade to introduce a ban on a "where appropriate" basis.

He said: "The fact is people take glasses and bottles onto the street.

Broken bottle
Glass attacks cause psychological and physical scars

"Again it is about availability, people once in a while use them as weapons.

"It's not good enough to have one premises doing it, it is far better to go for a blanket approach.

"I think it is terrific, it represents a major step forward for public health."

Cardiff has a partial ban on glass, with premises opened until 0300 GMT introducing plastic.

Major suppliers now make their product available in plastic bottles.

Prof Shepherd said the Welsh experience showed that the increase in use of plastic correlated with a reduction in glass injuries.

Post-traumatic stress

He said people must remember the scarring - both physical and mental - caused by glass attacks.

He added: "It's facial cuts, face scars in the long run.

"About 70% are noticeable, tragically someone may have a nerve sliced through or lose an eye.

"From a psychological standpoint, one-third develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

"This is characterised by flashbacks, waking in the middle of the night. They become depressed and anxious."

Prof Shepherd is also chairman of Cardiff's violence prevention group.


SEE ALSO:
Licensee condemns city glass ban
10 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Clubs take glass out of Glasgow
05 Feb 06 |  Scotland
City backs glass bottle ban
27 Jan 04 |  Scotland


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