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Providing a safe welcome in Camden

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Providing a safe welcome in Camden
Article date: 02 Jul 2012

Camden is now more popular than ever, with both locals and tourists – just reward for the efforts of pub managers such as Iain Rixon, dedicated to providing a warm welcome. Iain takes a no-nonsense and proactive stance when it comes to the safety and wellbeing
of his staff and customers.

Iain, who manages The Ice Wharf, in Camden, has been at the pub for five years, as the northwest London area has continued to grow in popularity.

Iain said: “Camden was always a very niche and alternative area to visit. However, over the past five years, the customer profile has changed, with the place now an extremely busy tourist spot, appealing to a broader market.”

With visitor numbers to the capital swelling considerably this year, with the Queen’s jubilee celebrations, the Olympics and Paralympics, as well as WorldPride 2012, The Ice Wharf is set for a hectic time.

Iain and his team work closely with Camden Council, its local business initiatives and licensing officers to ensure that the pub is a safe and enjoyable venue. The pub has recently switched to plastic, instead of glass.

He said: “We initially had a glass-free environment on Friday and Saturday, but have now extended it at all times for the spring/summer season.

“Our outside area is all concrete and gets very busy in the warmer weather. We wanted to eliminate the possibility of glass-related incidents, whether accidental or as a result of violent crime.”

The Ice Wharf is a member of Camden Inner London Licensing Association (CILLA), a pubwatch-style scheme, as well as Camden Business Against Crime (CBAC).

Iain said: “We operate a very strict door policy and are a ‘Challenge 25’ venue. Our licensed door staff can perform random bag and pocket checks, as well as non-intrusive body searches.

“We have a zero-tolerance approach to drugs and antisocial behaviour, doing everything possible to protect our customers, regulars and visitors, as well as our staff.”

Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited which incorporates CBAC,(pictured left with Iain) said: “Working with local bars, the council, CCTV and the Met Police, we at Camden Town Unlimited have been able to really get a grip on the town centre, in terms of antisocial behaviour.

“If local businesses, like The Ice Wharf, didn’t engage properly with the CBAC scheme, it just wouldn’t work.”

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