Night patrols in town will not extend to 4am

STREET wardens who patrol the town centre at night will not see their hours extended until 4am, despite calls from pub and club managers to increase their weekend shifts.

Weston Pubwatch has asked the Town Centre Partnership if the street warden patrol team could stay on past their current 2am finishing time on Friday and Saturday nights.

The wardens talk to police, help people into taxis and move on groups in the town centre at night, funded by contributions from the town centre businesses in the BID scheme.

Chris Partridge, Pubwatch chairman and manager at the Cabot Court Hotel in Knightstone Road, said: “The main reason for it is because some places open until 4am and around that time is when we tend to have issues.

“The street wardens are doing a fantastic job.

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“It is a fantastic scheme and it is going really, really well but it finishes too early.

“The licensees are behind it, the customers are keen on it. They are a presence on the streets.

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“They are trained professionals and know how the pubs and clubs operate and they know how to deal with issues.

“It creates another link between police and the public. They don’t have the power of arrest any more than you or I do but they are trained door staff that have been in Weston for a long, long time.”

He said several premises had asked for the wardens’ hours to be extended at a meeting of the Pubwatch group last week.

But town centre manager Steve Townsend says there are no plans to change the wardens’ hours.

He said: “We have considered it and the wardens will remain as they are until 2am, for three reasons.

“We have a definitive budget, to extend them into the morning we would have to remove hours from the daytime.

“Pubs and clubs don’t chuck out until 4am, meaning we would have to keep on wardens until 6am, but police are quite happy that they can manage at that time.”

He said one change that could be made to the wardens is moving them from Sunday to Thursday nights, which are becoming busier. Mr Townsend also said he was pleased the Pubwatch group has responded so positively to the wardens.

He added: “We have had some really good comments on the wardens team. They are not there to get involved in the management of pubs and clubs, they are there to be a safe presence and ensure people get home safely.”

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