High standards upheld

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Licensed premises that are making an important contribution to cutting violent and alcohol-related crime were given a big thumbs-up at an awards ceremony hosted by Fenland Council.

Representatives of 40 licensed businesses from across the district were presented with special certificates demonstrating that they operate to an exceptionally high standard.

It was their reward for meeting all the requirements of Thumbs Up!, a multi-agency scheme launched last year to promote the responsible management and operation of all businesses licensed to sell alcohol.

The awards scheme forms part of a wider strategy to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and to promote the local economy. It sets minimum standards and encourages best practice.

All the relevant authorities are involved: Fenland District Council’s licensing and environmental health teams, Trading Standards, the police and the fire and rescue service.

Opening the ceremony at Fenland Hall, Councillor David Oliver, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for community safety, praised the successful businesses for their attitude and the example they are setting.

“Joining ‘Thumbs Up’ shows your willingness to set standards and to encourage other operators to do the same,” he said.

“Last year we were able to achieve an 18 per cent reduction in violent crime in Fenland. To date this year it is down 11 per cent as a result of the multi-agency approach we have adopted with partners who are here today and importantly with you, the local businesses.”

To gain Thumbs Up! recognition businesses have to demonstrate they are meeting and promoting four key licensing objectives: the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm. They are assessed by all the authorities involved to ensure all the criteria are met.

Cllr Oliver said: “This scheme helps make Fenland a safer place to live, work, visit and socialise - and that is good for all our businesses.”

A total of 49 licensed premises have so far got Thumbs Up accreditation.

The picture shows representatives from the 40 licensed businesses and relevant authorities outside Fenland Hall after the presentations.