Police and licensees have welcomed efforts by Hartlepool licensing chiefs for bars to serve all drinks in plastic glasses after midnight after a woman was injured when she was hit by a glass.
Pubs and bars applying for an alcohol licence to Hartlepool Borough Council will be expected to impose the new policy as part of the authority’s efforts to reduce the chance of late night drink-fueled violence and revellers being glassed.
Although it will only apply to new licences granted by the council for places where people drink mainly while standing, Hartlepool Licensees Association says it will ask landlords to apply the new policy voluntarily.
The stance on plastic glasses is a new amendment to the council’s Licensing Policy which has just been updated which was approved by councillors.
The new policy states: “Standard drinking glasses are made of annealed glass that, when broken, can create long shards which can be used as a stabbing weapon.
“Toughened glass will shatter completely when broken but, due to its manufacturing process, is extremely hard and may cause blunt force injuries if thrown or used as a weapon.
Authority believes such a condition... will prevent those serious injuries that occur when drinking glasses are used as weaponsHartlepool Borough Council’s Licensing Policy
“Rigid or flexible plastic glasses will not shatter when broken and will not cause blunt force injuries.
“As such, the licensing authority believes such a condition is a reasonable and proportionate requirement that will prevent those serious injuries that occur when drinking glasses are used as weapons.”
The move was prompted after the council was contacted by a woman who had been hit by a glass
Ian Harrison, principal licensing officer, said: “The lady sustained a slight injury which wouldn’t have happened if plastic glasses had been in use.”
Mr Harrison stressed applicants may not be forced to apply the plastic glasses policy if they can show another way of reducing the risk of crime and disorder which the council accepts.
“Each case will be taken on its merits,” he said.
Darab Rezai, chairman of Hartlepool Licensees Association (HLA), said he would take the issue to the association’s next meeting in January.
He said: “I think it is a positive thing.
“We are going to put it on the agenda to see if licensing premises would, even on a voluntary basis, like to use polycarbonate glasses and containers so if there is any trouble at all it wouldn’t harm anybody.
“The HLA will co-operate with the police and Hartlepool council to reduce crime and any incidents as much as possible.”
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “We welcome the use of plastic drinking glasses which reduces the risk of injuries to people as a result of both violent incidents and accidents.”