This evening, in my role as Croydon Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety, I launched the annual Best Bar None scheme at last year's winner The Green Dragon on the corner of High Street and Scarbrook Road.
Now in its seventh year, Best Bar None promotes responsible standards of management amongst Croydon’s licensed premises with the aim of reducing drink-related crime and disorder.
Establishments taking part are visited by the police and officers from the Council's licensing team who look at their door policy, health and safety issues, staff training, customer care and ways of dealing with disorder. Those that meet the required standards are presented with a certificate and plaque and overall winners and runners up are announced in a number of categories (best bar, best club, best pub). By publicly recognising the efforts many licensed premises are making, we hope to encourage others to raise their game.
Croydon was the first council in London and only the second council in the country to set up such a scheme. It has made a real difference, particularly in the town centre, with a significant reduction in alcohol related crime and disorder in and around licensed premises.