Pubwatch schemes – even the smallest – must comply with data protection law, including the GDPR that came into effect in May 2018.
The law gives data subjects such as offenders more rights and the ICO more powers to investigate and impose hugely increased fines. It also drives a strong incentive for no-win no-fee solicitors to pursue additional damages on behalf of their clients.
It’s a recipe for one of three outcomes:
1) more non-compliant (and therefore illegal) pubwatch schemes.
2) more closures of pubwatch programs which can’t afford the time and money required to ensure compliance.
3) or bringing more pubwatch schemes into larger ‘umbrella’ groups where compliance is carefully managed and maintained while each pubwatch continues to make its own decisions and retain its independence.
Combining Pubwatch Schemes On Disc To Drive Down More Low Level Crime
It’s a direction that more and more pubwatches are taking: neighbouring pubwatch schemes across, for example, a specific district or metropolitan area continue to operate independently, making their own minds up about exclusions, banning etc, but within an ‘umbrella’ organisation which looks after regulatory issues and compliance.
Our Disc online crime reporting system is increasingly being used to provide that umbrella. In urban areas and conurbations single Disc systems are being used to support multiple local pubwatches across the Boroughs of Harrow or Wandsworth in London, or in larger towns such as Bath. But it’s in less urban areas, where smaller pubwatch schemes support clusters of premises in more rural areas, where the trend is most noticeable.
Newbury, Gloucester, Taunton, Yeovil, Hereford, Huntingdon and Workington are just some of the towns which have extended their existing Disc systems to cover smaller, rural pubwatches in outlying areas. Local authorities such as Rhonda Cynon Taff in South Wales, or across the entire county (and police forces area) of Staffordshire, use individual Disc systems to support multiple pubwatch schemes.
Linking them together within a single Disc system brings other essential benefits to participating pubwatches too. The timely and easy distribution of ‘alerts’ through the system can help licensees protect themselves against counterfeit currency, travelling scammers, stolen goods or fake alcohol sellers. Being aware of individuals banned in one pubwatch helps members of neighbouring pubwatches keep an eye on new faces who may be a source of trouble.
Pubwatch Schemes Which Are Fully Compliant
By combining multiple pubwatch schemes in this way, each benefits from the rock-solid compliance made possible by the unique Disc system – yet each controls its own banning decisions, exclusion schemes and membership, and has online access to their own Mugshot Galleries in the Disc ‘Desktop’ or smartphone App.
Pubwatches and their members can be fiercely independent and no one size of ‘umbrella’ will fit all circumstances. The benefit of Disc is that it’s configurable to match virtually any group, whether it’s multiple pubwatches that have decided to come together to create such a group, or a Business Improvement District that decides to extend its support to pubwatch programmes beyond its own immediate levy-payer area.
Contact us to discuss how to best use Disc across multiple pubwatch locations.