Dorking pub watch scheme 'too expensive' for landlords

Landlords in a Surrey town have threatened to leave a radio link system intended to keep pubs safe because they claim it is too costly.

Two-way radios link pubs in Dorking and allow them to talk directly with police and the CCTV control centre.

The radios were provided free of charge as part of a trial scheme, but now licensed premises have to pay £400 each year to continue to use them.

Ian Wrenshaw, who is chairman of the scheme, said it was too expensive.

"The idea is that you've instant access to the police if they're on duty in the area," he said.

"In theory if there are officers in the area you can contact them quicker than dialling 999.

"But the problem is that in Dorking at the weekend there really isn't a lot of police presence after office hours."

A spokeswoman for Surrey Police said it would be up to individual premises to decide whether to carry on with the system when the trial ends in March.

She said: "We understand that these are difficult economic times for pub owners but we urge them to stay on board because the cost works out about £1 per day, which we think is a relatively small price to pay to protect against a huge loss from violence and crime."

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