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Late night out for partnership

A team made up of police and Mansfield District Council officers, street pastors, marshals, BID ambassadors and licensees will be out in Mansfield this Saturday (October 27) mingling with town centre revellers until the early hours of Sunday morning.

The "night out" has been organised by Mansfield Partnership Against Crime (MPAC) to help those out in town to stay safe, to encourage use of specialist equipment to check the ages of those going into pubs and to strengthen the relationship between pubs, clubs and the authorities.

A stall is being set up in the Market Place to serve as a focal point for the work. There will be a chance for people who are not already signed up to the age verification biometric scheme to do so, thanks to staff and a reader from Mansfield Association of Licensed Venues (MALV) being present. The staff will be easy to identify from their NO ID coats.

The biometric readers work by instantly checking the fingerprints of those entering licensed premises against date of birth details they have provided and which have been checked using passports or driving licences.

They save those out in town having to carry proof of age with them and make entry into pubs and clubs quick and easy for everyone concerned.

Also using the stall as a base will be street pastors, Mansfield District Council licensing and environmental officers, Mansfield BID Ambassadors, street marshals and representatives from the MPAC support team.

Non-alcoholic cocktails will be made and handed out, an element which has been made possible thanks to the support of Sainsbury's Mansfield who is donating the ingredients.

An important element of the campaign is also to remind people to help take care of themselves. Stay with friends, make sure you know how you are going to get home at the end of your night out and certainly enjoy a drink but don't have so much that you lose control will be advice given by staff on the stall.

A small number of personal safety items and advice leaflets will also be available.

All licensed premises in Mansfield operate Challenge 25, which means anyone who appears to be under the age of 25 can be asked for proof of age. Anyone wishing to register for the biometric reader scheme ahead of the night out can do so at And Why Not in Leeming Street at any time during opening hours.

They need to take their passport, driving licence or other recognised form of age-bearing photo ID with them. All nine readers will be in use on the night and on a regular basis after that.

Commenting on the action, Mansfield Police Inspector Neil Williams says: "The organisations coming together for the night of action all work in the town centre regularly, but we felt by setting up the stall as a base we would raise awareness of them and their jobs and encourage people to think about their own safety.

"We feel it is an ideal opportunity to promote the biometric readers which are a huge help to both premises and their customers. We hope to see plenty of people at the stall on the night."

MPAC says an assessment of the night of action will take place, looking at which elements were most successful. Decisions will then be made about running similar events in future.

Published 22 October 2012

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