Exeter Night Time Economy

Last updated: 22nd July 2012


Meeting  to discuss the Exeter Night Time Economy.

TWRA Residents might be interested in a ‘report-back’ by one of the Exeter St James Forum
members who attended a meeting at the University, July 17th 2012, about the Exeter Night Time Economy.

Meeting of the Culture/Fear of Crime subgroup of the Exeter Night Time Economy Forum:

The subgroup was chaired by PC Ian Lugg. Also present were a police communications person, a city councillor, representatives from ECC and from the security (i.e. door staff) industry, Rory
Cunningham (University Liaison Officer), another St James resident (David from Hoopern Street) and me.

The purpose of the meeting was to see if there were any actions that could be pursued to improve Exeter city centre in the late evenings/ early hours to prevent drink/drug fuelled antisocial behaviour and violence.

There was a long discussion on policing issues and powers.
- The authorities now have vast number of powers to deal with such behaviour but there is a resistance to implementing the full extent of these powers due to a reluctance to raise the fear of crime and diminish Exeter's reputation as a low-crime city as a result of the publicity that would ensue.
- Banning orders on problem individuals have stopped being used of late due to diminishing resources - the subgroup agreed an action to look into getting this scheme back up and running again and administered by the licencing committee rather than the police.

Rory Cunningham suggested that university students in the Officers Training Corp could be employed to marshal people into taxis at taxi ranks. There is GBP 5000 available for such a scheme.

There were not deemed to be any problems with either food establishments or smoking areas associated with nightclubs.

It was agreed that improvements were noticeable since a scheme to badge bar and club door-staff by the Security Industry Authority had recently been implemented. It was agreed that the authorities need to be more robust against establishments who continue to sell alcohol to drunk customers.

Rory Cunningham has written to both DCC and the Devon and Cornwall Police to elicit clarification of the plan to extinguish street lighting in Exeter. He has not yet had a response from either
of them. It was suggested that we should lobby our county councillors and MP on this matter.

It was deemed that although the NHS was clearly affected by drunken behaviour, their presence on this subgroup would not be worth their while, as its focus was mainly fear of crime.

Rory Cunningham suggested that a pub/night club accreditation scheme should be established, similarly to the, presently up and running, landlord accreditation scheme, in order to encourage clubs to improve. (It was reported that ECC's ranking of eating establishments on a scale of 1 - 5 had proved very popular.)
There exists a "purple flag" scheme for cities with good/safe night-time economies, along similar lines to blue flags for beaches. Exeter has not so far believed itself ready to apply for inspection under this scheme. It would apply to establishments city-wide and the application to the scheme would have to come from ECC.
The subgroup agreed to make investigating whether an accreditation scheme would be viable one of our actions.

Apparently a goup of pastors are out and about in the city centre every Friday and Saturday night in the early hours dealing with drunken people. They were thought to be very effective and useful - "brilliant" was in fact the term used.

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