POLICE say drink-related crime is dropping in the town - and are pointing to the new Pubwatch scheme as the reason behind the improvement.

The number of alcohol-fuelled incidents in Swindon town centre dropped sharply last month with October seeing a reduction of 58 per cent in violent offences linked to the night time economy compared to the same month in 2011.

Old Town has also improved, with a 50 per cent drop in NTE crime against the same period last year.

The good news follows the launch of the new Pubwatch scheme and the partnership between police and inSwindon, the company dedicated to improving the town centre’s economic outlook.

Pubwatch, chaired by Paul Mellor of Yates, with Danny Mason of Revolution as vice chair, has been working hard with scheme members and the authorities to reduce drink-related offences. Shaun Montague of Suju, head of Pubwatch for Old Town, is also closely involved.

The introduction of the Swindon NightSafe programme, jointly run with inswindon, has also helped Wiltshire Police to identify consistent trouble makers.

Fifty five people have received sanctions ranging from a warning letter to a two-year ban from all licensed venues within the Pubwatch group.

Pubwatch said in a statement: “We want to assure people who want to come out to enjoy themselves that they will not have their night ruined by a few.

“We still have a long way to go and have been consistent in our banning of trouble makers. It has been a huge benefit working with local police officer Michael Diffin and inSwindon. We all share the same goals.”

PC Michael Diffin, NTE beat manager, added: “This is a fantastic performance by all involved in Pubwatch, plus inSWINDON, Swindon Borough Council Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) Team and Wiltshire Police.

“It goes a long way to dispel the perception that the NTE in Swindon is a dangerous place.

“The figures speak for themselves with a 58 per cent reduction on recorded violent crime over the same period year on year.

“This built on the 22 per cent reduction over the 2011 period, which helped make Wiltshire the safest county in the country.

“I believe that the reduction is down to more proactive policing within the NTE and the increased use of bans by Pubwatch to exclude trouble makers from the area, thus making a safer environment.

“To me this is what partnership working is all about; all parties using their skills and working together to resolve issues and to provide a safe environment for the public.

“With the run-up to Christmas upon us I would like to say please come into Swindon NTE areas to enjoy yourselves and take advantage of the entertainment on offer.

“Know your limits and behave in an acceptable manner and if you do choose to misbehave and cause alcohol-related ASB and violence you will be prosecuted and excluded from all the venues listed on Pubwatch.”

Pubwatch members include: The Rolleston and The Furnace, Lava Lounge, The Savoy, The Pink Rooms, Dream Lounge, Casbah, Groove, Foxies, TP’s, The Mailcoach, The Sir Daniel Arms, The Groves Company Inn, Yates’s, Revolution, Bushwackers & Sin, Bakerstreet, Suju, Goddard Arms Hotel, The Spot Bar, The Old Bank, Mackenzies Café Bar, The Queens Tap, Longs Bar, 20 at The Kings, The Vic.