What is MALV?

• MALV, originally Mansfield Association of Late Night Venues, was formed in 2001 after a group of Operators, Managers of late night venues and Doug Gardner, our Police Licensing Officer felt a forum should be put together, similar to the successful Pubwatch scheme.This new, non-profit making forum met on a once a month basis to deal with issues that only occurred within the 'late' late night economy.

• Before the changes in the Licensing Act this year, late night venues had to adhere to a different set of regulations and rules than a traditional pub which closed at 11pm. These regulations were set by local councils in the form of a P.E.L (Public Entertainment Licence).

To summarise, all venues that had dance floors, charged admission and opened late had to have a PEL. All our venues had to adhere to strict criteria, which allowed us to operate into the early hours.

The criteria included CCTV, Admission Policies, Registered Door Supervisors, Drugs Policies and other factors which ensured our venues offered a controlled and safe environment for our customers.

In 2005, the Licensing Act was changed and PEL's in effect, were scrapped, Premises Licences and Personal Licences were introduced, all issued and enforced by local Councils. As part of the new Licensing Act, all Licensed venues including bars, night clubs and social clubs now have to adhere to the same criteria as stated on their newly granted Premises Licence.

The conditions on the new licences are very similar to an old PEL. In March 2006, all venues now had the same regulations and as most bars were operating later, it was deemed only sensible and fair to merge Pubwatch and the MALV forum together – as now, we all have to deal with issues that were previously deemed to be the 'nightclubs' responsibility…

Who is involved?

• MALV has a Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Press Secretary and two other committee members.

All the committee and all other members of MALV (around 40 in total) are owners or managers of licensed venues in Mansfield. Other key parties who regularly attend our monthly meetings include:

Doug Gardner - Police Licensing Officer
Dave Wilson – Town Centre Co-ordinator
John Taylor – DAAT
Tina Haynes - DAAT
Mick Barton– MDC Licensing Chairman
Carole Bargh -MDC Licensing Enforcement Officer

A lot of the success of MALV is due to having formed excellent working relationships with the people above and we genuinely feel that, as a group, we all share the same goal – making Mansfield a safer place to visit. Crime in the town centre is now down by 26%, the lowest in 10 years.. whereas other towns and cities have shown significant increases.

 

What have we achieved so far?

Over the past five years, MALV and our key parties have achieved or have been actively involved with achieving the following:

• The introduction, planning and the promotion of the very successful 'Night Rider' late night bus scheme – we are convinced this a key factor in the reduction of violent incidents on the Leeming St and Clumber St area and we feel that by helping our customers get home quicker at night, we are offering a better customer service.

• We introduced and operate the 'Banned from One, Banned from All' Scheme. If anyone is involved with an incident inside or outside our venues we effectively bar them from every licensed venue in Mansfield and its surrounding areas. Bans are issued automatically for all incidents involving violence or drugs. Most bans are valid for one year, however only two months ago we imposed a five year ban on four people who were charged with the supply of drugs.

• We introduced and operate the 'Banned from One, Banned from All' Scheme. If anyone is involved with an incident inside or outside our venues we effectively bar them from every licensed venue in Mansfield and its surrounding areas. Bans are issued automatically for all incidents involving violence or drugs. Most bans are valid for one year, however only two months ago we imposed a five year ban on four people who were charged with the supply of drugs.

We enforce these bans by sending letters to the person confirming the ban and an offer of appeal, we inform other local Pubwatch associations of our decision i.e. Sutton – In – Ashfield Pubwatch, we have a legal protocol which allows us to show our security staff photographs of the barred persons to help prevent entry to venues and we also send a list of who's been banned on a monthly basis to be published in The Chad.

We are very proud of this scheme and believe it works very well. Since being in operation, we have issued over 300 bans. This scheme puts out a very strong message that violence and drugs will not be tolerated in our town.

• The Heart of Mansfield Fund launched in July 2006. This is the first scheme of its kind ever to be launched in the UK. The Heart of Mansfield is a central fund operated by MALV. In the beginning, over 20 venues in Mansfield began voluntarily contributing to the fund.

This figure has now reduced to nine, which of course, reduces our capabilities of what could be achieved. How much venues contribute has been agreed by our members dependant on factors such as location, operating hours and size of venue. At this time, all nightclubs contribute and so do all venues on Leeming Street and Clumber Street. Other contributors include: town centre bars, fast food outlets, Stagecoach and Mansfield District Council. How the monies contributed is spent is decided by MALV and its members.

We are very keen to keep this voluntary fund working for Mansfield, over the previous months the Government has hinted at making certain areas 'Alcohol Disorder Zones', we wish to do everything we possibly can as an association to prevent Mansfield being included. We believe an ADZ in Mansfield would have a massive impact on the town's late night economy and we firmly believe this would also have a 'knock on' effect to the daytime economy too.

We spend the monies contributed on schemes such as:

• Training over 200 bar staff to a recognised B.I.I standard. The Responsible Alcohol Retailing course was proved to be very helpful to all staff that attended. We achieved a 100% pass rate. We aim to hold these courses on a annual basis to allow for staff turnover.

• Seminars to train bar staff about drugs. There are 3 seminars planned in July 2008 to train over 100 staff, these include Managers and Door Supervisors. These courses are in conjunction with DAAT.

• funding Bar staff to sit the BII NLC Licensing Exam. This course allows staff to be trained to the high level required to hold a Personal Licence.

• Increased advertising and promotional activity to help rid Mansfield of the 'rough' stigma it seems to have acquired over the years and turn that stigma into an 'enjoyable' and 'safe' one.

• To fund extra Registered Door Supervisors to visit pubs on the outskirts of the town centre that do not currently employ door staff, as they may only be busy for the first part of the evening. These staff move around the town throughout the night in effect, following the drinking circuit.

• To fund the employment of PCSO's to help keep the Clumber Street/Leeming Street area clear of vehicles and boy racers that violate the vehicle restriction after 11pm.
•Taxi Marshalling.

• Extra Policing – these designated extra Police officers work solely for MALV and they assist us in numerous ways i.e. they visit contributing venues on a regular twice nightly basis, provide an excellent presence on Leeming Street in the early hours to oversee the loading of buses, have a presence outside fast food outlets during their busiest period and most importantly, help achieve a 'safer' feel to the town centre late at night.

• Education – we believe that more needs to be done in the way of educating people about tolerable behaviour at a younger level. We aim to visit schools and sixth form colleges to explain to 16 and 17 year old students what behaviour we come to expect from customers and what policies all venues operate when visiting Mansfield at night. We think its also important to explain the consequences should they be involved with incidents involved drugs or violence. Is prevention not better than cure? Whilst this scheme is at an early stage, we aim to start visits in conjunction with the Police and DAAT in the coming months.

• We also arrange and operate our 'test purchasing' exercises to help combat underage drinking.

• We have also introduced an ID wristband campaign. This is operated over busy periods i.e, Bank Holidays and Christmas. People who appear to look under 21 visit a stand on the Market place, show their photographic ID and are given a free wristband, this wristband is attached by MALV staff and cannot be transferred. When customers visit premises and are asked for ID, the customer shows the wristband thus ensuring a speedier entry and an effective form of ID. We find this system is very successful.

Other schemes we have been prominently involved with

• The closing and pedestrianisation of Clumber St and Leeming Street after 11pm.

• The design and distribution of Anti Drugs posters in all venues

• The design and distribution of Sexual Health posters and information in all venues.

• The design and distribution of Search Policy posters

• The purchasing and distribution of 'proof its' – a drink testing kit to test if drinks have been spiked.

•The organisation and distribution of 'Cocaine Wipes'. We did a sample survey of licensed venues to measure the amount of cocaine use in our town by wiping surfaces with the wipes. Cocaine is an ever-increasing national problem and we wanted to know how much of a problem our town has. The results of this survey were that 60% of venues showed a positive reading, mainly from the female toilets. We gave our results to the media and ran an active campaign to put the message out that drugs are not tolerated in any venue within the town.

• MALV continues to promote Mansfield on a heavy basis; over the last few years, we designed the guide 'Mansfield By Night', which was compiled by our Members in conjunction with Mansfield Town Centre Partnership (MDC) and Doug Gardner from Nottinghamshire Police. This guide was distributed to satellite towns around Mansfield including Kirkby in Ashfield, Sutton in Ashfield, Warsop, Worksop, Hucknall, Ollerton and further a field. Over 18,000 guides were circulated and we are currently in the process of publishing our second edition.

Our Plans for the future….

• We are still trying to find a Bio Metric I.D system to combat under age drinking, the systems we looked at previously proved too expensive. We would still like to have an I.D system that all venues could use in the way of an ID card that has the holders finger print details, thus stopping forged photo ID. These systems are now available cheaper and we would like to use these cards as a condition of entry to as many venues as we can for customers under the age of 22.

• We are currently making enquiries to hopefully introduce permanent traffic calming measures at the bottom of St John St and on the early part of Clumber St. These measures would prevent 'boy racers' speeding through a heavily pedestrianised area before 11pm when the total traffic restriction comes into force. We believe it is only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured if these measures are not introduced soon.

To conclude, we hope MALV will still have a voluntary, positive and pro-active role to play within Mansfield as we feel the key to success here is by everybody working together towards making our town safer. Mansfield is a great place to visit, whether it be to the shops, theatre or a nightclub – we all have a responsibility to our customers and our businesses to make our town an attractive, safer and secure place to visit.

 

Poppleston Allen

 

Know ID

 

MPAC  

Mansfield Bid

police

Mansfield 103