Make merry without making a mess...

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Licensee members of Banchory Pub Watch have partnered up with Police to ensure that festive revellers have a safe and enjoyable time.

In an effort to encourage people to enjoy themselves in Banchory this festive season, local police officers will undertake dedicated foot patrols around the town centre to ensure public safety.

A police spokesperson said: “Traditionally, Christmas is a time that is often blighted for some people by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol which sometimes leads to instances of anti-social behaviour and alcohol fuelled violence.

“While the direct effect of this may only impact on those involved, a ripple effect is created that extends to many other people that are in the area at the time of these incidents, dampening their enjoyment and leaving the reputation of Banchory tarnished.”

Regular visits will be undertaken to all the licensed premises to ensure that staff and patrons are able to enjoy themselves without the “few” spoiling it for everyone else.

Banchory has an active Pub Watch scheme that includes The Burnett Arms Hotel, The Douglas Arms Hotel, The Stag Hotel, Scott Skinner’s and, during the summer months, the Banchory Show.

Licensees from each of the premises work with police to minimise the impact of anti-social behaviour and alcohol fuelled violence.

Offenders identified as having been involved in incidents within premises, or who are known to have recently left the premises, can be banned from entering any of the Pub Watch establishments from six months to life.

Charlie Grant, of The Stag Hotel, said: “The Pub Watch scheme has been in existence in Banchory for a few years now and works well.

“As licensees in the town, it is our responsibility and in our best interests to ensure that our premises are free of those who are unable to behave themselves once they have had a drink.

“At the moment we have 18 people banned from entering the Pub Watch premises, each of which displays large signs asking people to ‘Behave or be Banned’.

‘‘ The scheme works well and I hope it continues for many years to come. We are all looking forward to an excellent Christmas period and welcome the extra Police patrols and visits we get into our premises.”