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16 December 2013, 06:00
A year on from the introduction of a new identification scanning system in Watford bars and clubs, police have seen a reduction in crime and disorder.
Scan ID technology was installed in the entrances of the ten main bars and clubs in the town centre last December.
The technology scans every customer’s identification and highlights to the door staff if the ID is forged, fake or tampered with. It also allows police and venues to share data about problem individuals and to impose bans across every venue which uses the equipment.
Anyone who is found to be violent, aggressive or commits crime, including assaults and thefts, in the town centre on a night out will be banned from all of the venues for a minimum of six months, or longer, depending on the severity of the crime committed.
The figures show that between April and December this year, compared to the previous year:
• Reports of antisocial behaviour are down 28%, resulting in 220 fewer calls.
• Thefts have reduced by 57%, resulting in 162 fewer incidents.
• Violence has reduced by 14%, resulting in 68 fewer victims.
• All crime in Watford is down by 16%.
• Approximately 250 people have been banned as a result of the technology.
Chief Inspector for Watford, Dave Wheatley said: "These results are fantastic and show a continued decline in the number of incidents, making the town an even safer and more enjoyable place to visit at night. Scan Net is just one of the initiatives which have helped us achieve these results; there’s also a strong partnership approach with our colleagues at Watford Borough Council, the licensees, the taxi marshals and the other voluntary organisations such as God After Dark and the Red Cross.
We are now gearing up for the busiest season in Watford. We have plans in place to ensure that incidents are kept to a minimum and that people can celebrate the festive season safely. Whilst we will be in the town centre it is important that people take steps to keep themselves and their belongings safe. Alcohol can lead to a person being more vulnerable to crime so we’d ask people to drink in moderation, plan ahead how they are getting home and keep their valuables well hidden and never left unattended."