A Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) has been given a national award for her work on a scheme to keep pub staff and customers safe.

PCSO Helenor Gwatkin was presented with the National Pubwatch Star Award as the scheme was extended to Northallerton this week.

The National Pubwatch Star Award is sponsored by Licensing Defence Barristers.

Over the past four years she has worked on the launch and development of similar schemes in Richmond, Leyburn and Catterick.

Pubwatch is open to all licensed premises, including shops, as well as pubs and bars.

It offers support to members in many different ways, including training, sharing resources and providing a network of information – all with the aim of keeping staff and customers safe. If someone is banned by one licensed premises, all local scheme members can also impose a ban.

PCSO Gwatkin is currently seconded to the Licensing Team, within North Yorkshire Police’s Partnership Hub, which works with other organisations in innovative ways to reduce crime and make communities safer.

Launch: Northallerton is the latest North Yorkshire town to benefit from the scheme

Superintendent Ed Haywood-Noble, who leads the Partnership Hub, said: “We’re really proud of Helenor’s success in working with partners to build the Richmond and Leyburn scheme – she’s done an amazing job.

“This success is now being expanded on, with Pubwatch being extended to Northallerton.

“Keeping communities safe is all about prevention and early intervention. This scheme is an excellent example of that, so it’s great that more people and more businesses will now benefit from it.”

The Licensing Team actively manages a portfolio of more than 7,500 licensed premises across North Yorkshire and the City of York to ensure that premises work to four licensing objectives – prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; prevention of public nuisance; protection of children from harm.

During her time working on Pubwatch, PCSO Gwatkins’ achievements include encouraging many businesses to sign up, setting up training to door staff so they can keep people safe and spot signs of vulnerability and introducing practical support such as radio systems for members.

National Pubwatch’s regional representative, Peter Jackson, said PCSO Gwatkin’s award was well-deserved, as she has made a significant contribution to the scheme.

He said: “One of my roles within National Pubwatch is to recommend individuals who I consider worthy of a National Pubwatch Award. I am pleased to say Helenor is one of those people.

“I’m very impressed with her dedication to Pubwatch and the efforts she puts in to encourage premises to become members. The work she’s done so far has been a great success.”

Northallerton Business Improvement District (BID) has also backed the scheme’s rollout across the town.

Premises licence legal issue?

Licensing Defence Barristers are leading licensing barristers dealing with all legag matters relating to alcohol, entertainment and late-night licences.

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