UK: police, paramedics praise glasses ban

Police in UK towns and cities where a ban on glasses in bars and nightclubs has been imposed say it has drastically reduced the level of violent assaults.
Cardiff, Glasgow, Bournemouth and Reading ha…

Police in UK towns and cities where a ban on glasses in bars and nightclubs has been imposed say it has drastically reduced the level of violent assaults. Cardiff, Glasgow, Bournemouth and Reading have all reported positive results since abandoning glass for polycarbonate in the last year. Glasgow“s ban on glass in nightclubs has wiped out attacks since the rules were introduced in January 2006, covering all city centre clubs and venues with entertainment licences. In 2005, there was an average of six glass attacks a month. In Cardiff there is a partial ban on glass, with premises open until 3am introducing plastic. Police there say the measure has had a “significant” effect on the level of violent assaults in the Welsh capital, which have fallen by more than a quarter in the last 12 months. A South Wales Police spokeswoman said there had been a number of measures but, in particular, the ban on club premises open until 3am using glasses had been a success. “When we had the FA Cup Finals, plastic glasses were used everywhere. It has been a success in Cardiff and we have been encouraged by the results”. “In April 2006, there were 277 violent incidents and, in April 2007, there were 203 … a 27% decrease”. Dorset police claim a 70% reduction in glass-related injuries after 25 night spots in Bournemouth replaced their stocks of glasses with polycarbonate. Now the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust is backing a similar campaign across Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. It revealed that, during the last six months, the trust responded to around 7,500 assaults and more than 10% of them were fights occurring at night clubs and late bars. Paramedic Tony Heselton said: “We see some very unpleasant injuries caused by broken bottles and glasses which are used as weapons, often disfiguring and maiming victims for life”. Every year, there are 5,500 glass or bottle attacks in Britain; the attacks have a devastating impact on victims and put a huge strain on accident and emergency units. In a national survey, 40% of bar staff questioned had received accidental glass related injuries, with a third needing hospital treatment.