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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Calling time on pub violence
pub violence culture
Bar staff in Cardiff pubs are to be sent on courses to learn how to deal with abusive and threatening customers.

The ServeWise project has been devised by the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, in partnership with the Home Office.
pub customer
The 'Happy Hour' syndrome of binge boozing

The scheme will help bar staff and managers defuse potentially explosive situations with a step by step guide to calming and controlling customers.

ServeWise also teaches licensees and their staff their rights and responsibilities.

Course organiser Dr Eleri Jones said better trained staff would become more relaxed and in control of situations.

"They are learning about how to deal with the psychology of difficult situations and raising standards in the process," she said.

Home Office funding

Superintendent Kevin Tumelty, from South Wales Police, said problems existed UK-wide with alcohol-related violence in pubs and bars.

"There is not a particular problem in south Wales, no more so than anywhere else, but we are saying that one injury is one too many," he said.

The Home Office has set aside 500,000 towards the Targeting Alcohol-related Street Crime (TASC) scheme.

Last month, a conference was held in Cardiff to explore the problems of pub violence.

Delegates were told the number of injuries caused by violent crime has increased substantially over the past 25 years, and in the past five years, injuries to girls aged 11 to 17 have escalated.
Superintendent Kevin Tumelty
Superintendent Kevin Tumelty: 'One injury is too many'

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, of the University of Wales College of Medicine, has fought hard as a surgeon for a more practical approach to minimising street and pub injuries.

Prof Shepherd has campaigned for toughened glass or plastic to be used for drinking glasses in pubs and clubs.

During the conference he emphasised his view that addressing the causes of violence like unemployment, social deprivation and heavy drinking is the best way of tackling the issue.

A report issued by the Home Office in November - Alcohol and Crime: Taking Stock - backed the belief that drinking in bars was associated with greater violence than in other settings.

A joint survey in 1999 by Police Review and Alcohol Concern, found alcohol caused more problems for police than drugs.

See also:

02 Jul 00 | UK Politics
'Thug pubs' targeted
12 May 00 | Health
Britain's big booze binge
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