BOLTON is leading the way in a scheme designed to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder.

Best Bar None is a Home Office backed initiative involving the police, local authorities and bar and club owners working together to improve professionalism, standards of training and creating new ways to maximise safety and welfare for the vulnerable.

Last week, 17 bars, clubs and pubs in Bolton were awarded for their efforts since they signed up to the scheme.

Held at the Grosvenor Casino, the awards were presented by Best Bar None UK's national co-ordinator, Mick McDonnell alongside representatives from Greater Manchester Police and Bolton Council.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison, GMP Divisional Commander for Bolton said: “Best Bar None is a hugely positive initiative, setting a guideline for all licensed venues to work towards, with the overall goal of keeping people safe while on a night out.

“Hosting the first awards here in Bolton is a great opportunity to show off the positive work being done not only by GMP but Bolton Council, and the licensees themselves. Working together means that these professional relationships have been strengthened and we are now sharing information between us that can help to prevent incidents like we have seen previously.

“Greater Manchester has some brilliant attractions, one of which being the varied and vibrant nightlife on offer. This scheme is in place to make sure people can enjoy it safely, without concern for their welfare.”

Receiving awards on the night were The Balmoral, Spinning Mule, Oscars, Level, The Bar, Dragonfly, Grovesnor Casino, Holiday Inn, Yates, Kahiki Hideout, Bamboogy, Great Ale at the Vaults, Elephant and Castle and Reflex, Hogarths, Post Office Bar, Courtneys and The Venue.

Level received a platinum award for its work reducing crime and helping to keep people safe while many others picked up gold and silver awards.

Councillor Derek Burrows, cabinet member for police and community safety said: “We are delighted that bars in Bolton are leading the way in making the town a safer place to go out at night.

“These bars and clubs have been working hard with the police and the council to improve their standards and their training to ensure people can enjoy a fun and safe night out.”

The success of the scheme in Bolton has seen it rolled out across further divisions, with the launch in Salford later this month.

Upon presenting the awards, Mick McDonnell, national co-ordinator for Best Bar None said “It’s absolutely fantastic to see the Best Bar None scheme back in Greater Manchester creating strong partnerships between the police, local authority and licensed premises.

“Working together to create safe and vibrant night-time economies can only enhance the reputation of the Greater Manchester area.

“Bolton is leading the way, and I look forward to re-visiting Manchester more often as new schemes are launched.”