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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 April 2007, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
City's glasses switch to plastic
A plastic glass
Plastic glasses are unlikely to cause serious injuries
Pubs and clubs in Newport city centre could soon all be serving drinks in plastic glasses in an attempt to cut down on violent attacks.

Gwent Police have applied for 10,000 funding from the city's community safety partnership to distribute the glasses to pubs and clubs.

It is part of a drive to reduce the number of glassing incidents after figures showed there were 24 recent attacks in the city centre alone.

There are 40 bars in the centre.

Inspector Talbot Thrush from Gwent Police said the plans had "universal support" from all city centre bars and nightclubs, which can attract up to 12,000 drinkers.

"In 2005-6 there were 50 glassings in Gwent with just under half of those in the city centre.

"They are serious assaults, they cause horrendous injuries and are very disfiguring.

"If we can get Newport city centre licensed premises to switch to polycarbonate glasses, we can cut the levels of glassings in the force area by 50%."

Our research has shown the majority of glassing attacks happen between 11pm and 1am
Insp Talbot Thrush

He said if granted 10,000 it would allow the whole of the city centre to benefit from the distribution of polycarbonate glasses.

"Polycarbonate is so robust, you could drive over it in a car and it wouldn't break so it means that the worst injury you could get would be a bruise.

"And it also means that there will be less glass breakages for the licensed premises to have to replace."

Insp Thrush said the money would be used to cover the initial cost of the bars buying the plastic glasses, which would be used on busy weekend nights or to coincide with major events.

John Pisani
John Pisani welcomes the plans to introduce plastic glasses

"Our research has shown the majority of glassing attacks happen between 11pm and 1am, they are a late night problem."

He said that the repercussions of a glassing attack had major financial implications for the police, NHS and benefits service.

"Investigating just one glassing cost the police on average 10,000," he said.

John Pisani, who runs The Greyhound pub in the city centre and is part of Pub Watch said the move would ensure the safety of their customers.

"We are on the ground floor and we see the injuries that occur and it is not nice," he said.

"It's very traumatic for the victim and if it stops just one person being injured, it has got to be worth it."

He said Newport Pub Watch was also putting pressure on brewers to use plastic bottles instead of glass.

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