Police chief insists trade won’t have to pay for extra officers
POLICE have moved to reassure Glasgow’s late night operators they will not be asked to pay for extra police on the city’s streets.
Bar and club owners feared a blanket ‘polluter pays’ style fee could be levied on late night venues after a newspaper report claimed that some nightclubs were funding extra officers to patrol the city centre.
Strathclyde Police confirmed a number of bars and clubs pay for a police presence on certain nights of the week or if there is a major event taking place.
But chief superintendent Val Thomson told SLTN there is “absolutely not” a plan to ask operators to contribute towards additional policing.
“Violent crime and disorder are down in the city centre and that’s because we’re working with partners like the licensed trade,” she said.
“I absolutely appreciate that licence holders are doing their bit; the reduction in crime is not down to the police alone.
“I’m really pleased with the level of interaction we’ve got with the trade and stewards.
“This is not about me asking people to pay for additional policing.
“This is certainly not a general thing and it won’t become a general thing.”
Donald MacLeod, chair of Glasgow Licensing Forum and owner of clubs including The Garage and Cathouse, welcomed the assurances.
“The trade is working very well with the police but when we see stories like that our hackles do go up; issues like this have to be addressed,” he told SLTN.
“Paying for police would be a huge step into uncharted waters. I’m delighted that it’s not being adopted as a strategy going forward.”
Nightclub lobbyist Eddie Tobin told SLTN he would be “vehemently opposed” to such a scheme.
“Premises pay business rates and have gone a very long way to become much safer, spending lots of money on stewards and CCTV,” he said.
“It’s comforting to know this is not on the agenda because this is a very bad time for operators; it’s hard work.”
Glasgow-based G1 Group said it pays for additional policing at its Corinthian Club on Ingram Street to “help ensure our late night customers have a great experience”.
“G1 Group fully supports all city centre police initiatives and is more than happy to contribute to the overtime cost of officers at the weekend to ensure a safe environment is created in the area around the Corinthian Club for the general public,” said director of compliance Kristin Nicol.