You`re barred

Landlords in Maidenhead are so annoyed over policing cuts initiated by Prime Minister Theresa May that they are looking to ban her from every pub in her constituency. The group claims that it now takes a minimum of half an hour and sometimes as long as an hour for Thames Valley Police to respond to incidents at their pubs, and have pointed out that “it’s not much use after a fight has broken out”.

Nov 29, 2017

Landlords in Maidenhead are so annoyed over policing cuts initiated by Prime Minister Theresa May that they are looking to ban her from every pub in her constituency. The group claims that it now takes a minimum of half an hour and sometimes as long as an hour for Thames Valley Police to respond to incidents at their pubs, and have pointed out that “it’s not much use after a fight has broken out”. They are understandably concerned that these delayed responses endanger their staff and customers, and we must also take into account the stress suffered by combatants who have to fight for far longer than they might reasonably expect. Maidenhead’s PubWatch has, it is claimed, decided to table a call to ban Theresa May at this week’s meeting. It is good to see a PubWatch flex its muscles, for they haven’t fulfilled their considerable potential to date. I remember broadcasters catching Mrs May on doorsteps during the general election but repeatedly finding occupants out or unwilling to open the door. I doubt they will spot her and husband Philip crawling around Maidenhead town centre, followed by their team of close protection officers, on a Saturday night constantly being refused entry by burly doormen. There is an argument for going to the other extreme, by welcoming Theresa and her entourage into local hostelries, rather than banning them. This will ensure that local police chiefs demand swift responses to outbursts of disorder if they think that she is on the premises, and they fear that she might get hurt, or have to buy a round of drinks. Her security officers might reasonably be expected to intervene should anyone (including her) kick off in the pub or pubs in which she had chosen to unwind. Then again, we are talking of the team that failed to prevent prankster Simon Brodkin from handing her a fake P45 during her keynote speech at this year’s Conservative Party conference. Brodkin had legitimate accreditation granting him access to the hall, despite being well known for such stunts, and avoided the best efforts of CCHQ, GMP and G4S, which proves that acronyms should not be put in charge of anything. As things stand, the worthy licensees of Maidenhead seem to be clinging to the wreckage of a system in which the police policed licensed premises rather well. This was arbitrarily abandoned some years ago, as licensed doormen became the vogue. This has not quite worked, as they are ineffective and expensive, the opposite of what used to be the police response, which was effective and free. This is, however, a government that will not take a step backwards, no matter where their journeys lead them. What will they do next? It is reasonable to speculate that they will encourage the private security industry to leap into the breach. It will not work, and demanding accreditation at pub entrances will make it even less effective and more expensive, but at least Brodkin will have a challenge for the New Year. Yours, Stitch

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