Cracking down on trouble
A SUCCESSFUL police operation to clean up Torbay's nighttime economy has been extended across Teignbridge and the South Hams.
The high-profile Operation Ambassador has seen plain-clothes officers going into pubs and clubs, particularly on Torquay harbourside, to make sure they are safely managed.
In March police chief Supt Jim Nye warned some might lose their licences if they failed to keep high standards.
Torquay's busiest nightspot Mambo, on The Strand, had its alcohol licence temporarily suspended for three weeks on the eve of the Jubilee bank holiday celebrations.
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Supt Nye said: "Operation Ambassador has been about ensuring the safe management of the licensed premises in Torbay. We are taking it into Teignbridge because we have some concerns.
"It's about ensuring the public have a safe night out.
"On Mambo's I absolutely think the licensing committee made the right decision and I have absolutely no hesitation about taking any other premises in South Devon before a similar committee.
"I don't enjoy closing premises, particularly at this busy time of the year, but I have to ensure I make Torbay a safe place to be.
"What happened to Mambo was extremely rare. It was only the second time it has happened in Torbay and I have no problem with it not being the last.
"It has been a shot across the bows and I will be looking at other premises and making sure they are fulfilling the requirements in line with their licensing conditions."
Inspector Dave Hammond, sector chief for Teignbridge, said: "The operation is being extended across Teignbridge and the South Hams but the two real centres are Newton Abbot and Teignmouth where we have late night premises and busy pubs.
"We have our uniform officers in high-visibility jackets outside on foot patrol and we know what is happening. Most people like to see that presence and it makes them feel more comfortable.
"But sometimes you want to take a harder look and get some more detail to make sure that the night time economy is as safe as can be.
"If you go into a bar dressed as a policeman then obviously it's going to be managed really well while you are there — with Operation Ambassador we can get a better picture of how premises are run under normal circumstances.
"Ambassador has been very successful at doing that in Torquay."