BEST Bar None has been running more than 16 years with hundreds of licensed premisses in more than 70 towns and cities signed up.

And there is also a new central scheme which provides Best Bar None accreditation for businesses where a town centre scheme is not established.

The scheme is designed to reduce alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour and health harm in the areas where it operates.

Best Bar None was introduced in Bolton in January 2017 and seen as a trailblazer in Greater Manchester.

It was set up after bar owners experienced a fall in trade and spoke about problems they experienced. A police officer suggested Best Bar None as a solution.

And within just a year there was a 32 per cent reduction in violent crime in licensed premises in the town.

Its success saw it rolled out in Westhoughton.

One of the most successful parts of the initiative has been the Ask for Angela scheme,piloted in Bolton.

If someone feels threatened in a bar they ask bar staff for Angela and they will get them the help they needed.

The campaign is aimed at reducing sexual violence and abuse in the area by providing those in need a platform to discreetly approach staff and ask for help.

Best Bar None is a national award scheme promoting partnership working between the pub and bar trade, the police and local authorities.

Those signed up have their premises audited by trained assessors for operational standards, policies and procedures, and involves the education and training of staff.

Leader of Bolton Council Cllr David Greenhalgh said: “People should be able to enjoy a night out safely and there is no doubt that well-operated businesses contribute to providing a safe environment for our visitors.

“We value the work that everyone has put in to raise the standard of licensed premises.”

Lord Smith, of Hindhead, Philip Smith, chairman of Best Bar None, said: “The national awards recognise and reward schemes for their commitment to Best Bar None and highlight their efforts to make towns and cities across the country safer and more desirable places to visit.

“All of the finalists have done incredibly well to make the shortlist, but Bolton Best Bar None stood out in the eyes of the judges as being thoroughly deserving of this award.

“The team continues to maximise its impact on the local community and maintain strong and proactive relationships with licensees, the police and local authorities.”