Edinburgh nightclubs share rogues’ gallery of troublemakers

Door staff share details of potential troublemakers.
Door staff share details of potential troublemakers.
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A ROGUE’S gallery of troublemakers has been hailed a success after helping prevent mayhem in the city centre over Christmas and New Year.

The pilot Unight database posts photos of yobs and links bouncers with each other and police through email alerts.

It was credited with leading to nine arrests for drugs and violence over the festive period as part of a crackdown at bars and clubs.

“It’s particularly pleasing to hear that the new information sharing platform has helped create a safer environment for club goers and weed out the minority who cause trouble,” said David MacCrimmon of developers the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.

The platform works by allowing door staff and club managers to alert others around the city of anyone causing problems at their venue.

An alert can be sent instantly if someone commits a crime, which informs police and means bouncers can keep an eye out.

In the run up to Christmas, seven people were charged with possession of a controlled drug after Unight alerts were sent.

And last month, there were two arrests for assault attributed to the new partnership with 30 premises signed up so far.

“There were a number of good quality alerts sent out over the new year period, including one which identified and led to the apprehension of two individuals who had become violent to door staff,” said Mr MacCrimmon.

“We worked closely with both Unight and Police Scotland to come up with more innovative and inventive ways to bolster the night time economy sector and make its businesses even more resilient to both anti-social behaviour and other areas of criminality.

The new software allows clubs to set ban lengths for people who cause problems within their premises and allows users to search for anyone removed from other clubs or bars.

It also means bouncers are able to recognise unruly individuals who try to get into premises having been kicked out of others nearby.

Jay Glass, Area Manager for Why Not nightclub in George Street, credited the scheme as a “massive success”.

He added: “The aim is to prevent irresponsible people from entering our venues and causing problems for police, other customers and themselves, ultimately making the capital a safer place.

“It’s great that clubs can work together like this and make sure that the vast majority of people who just wanted to go out and have a good time over the festive break, were able to do so without encountering those individuals out to cause trouble.”

Bars and clubs can apply to join and then once accepted, bouncers can alert managers to unruly revellers so that their images can be taken from CCTV and passed on.

Sergeant Mark Innes from the City Centre Policing Team said: “We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of all those who frequent and work within Edinburgh’s night time economy sector.

“Throughout the festive period we engaged with all the members of Unight as well as security companies.

“We believe this contributed to a positive and enjoyable Christmas and New Year for patrons and staff alike.”

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk