Trendy Shoreditch bars Cargo and Village Underground launch booze patrols to stop revellers getting too drunk

Mark Chandler
Booze patrol: A Drinkaware Crew:

Hipster bars in east London have unveiled new booze patrols to stop revellers drinking to excess.

Shoreditch venues Cargo and Village Underground have launched the crack team of staff, named the Drinkaware Crew, to help young Londoners stay safe while out in the capital.

The move is part of a scheme by alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

It sees specially trained staff introducing themselves on the door and then keeping a look out for problems on Fridays and Saturdays.

The project, already launched in 13 other UK cities, also allows customers to speak to crew members if they have got lost or feel unwell.

Paul Merry, chairman of Shoreditch Pubwatch and licensing consultant at Cargo, said the move was inspired by the shocking death of India Chipchase in Northampton.

The drunken 20-year-old was murdered and raped by Edward Tenniswood after they met outside a nightclub in the city.

Mr Merry said the scheme aimed to keep people aged 18 to 24 safer by stopping them wandering out into the night alone, or getting too drunk in the first place.

He said: “We’ll have two members of staff who are specially trained and have uniforms on.

“They are a point of contact for vulnerable people, those that have drunk a little bit too much or those that have got lost from their friends.

“It’s giving that extra level of protection where someone wouldn’t necessarily go to a security guard – it’s a person who’s more friendly and approachable.”

The staff will also patrol the bars for anyone who looks like they might have overdone it.

He said: “They can notify bar staff if the person’s had a bit too much to drink, to not serve them but avoid them being thrown out on their own."

“They will help wherever they can,” he added.

“It could be arranging for a taxi, it could be going through a person’s mobile phone to see where their friend has disappeared to.

“It could be calling agencies, the police or an ambulance crew, but we’d hope it wouldn’t get that far.”

The project will be run on a trial basis at both venues for at least three months and could also be rolled out elsewhere in the capital.

Elaine Hindal, Drinkaware Chief Executive, said: “Drinkaware is committed to finding new and innovative ways to reduce the harms caused by alcohol and to help keep people safe on a night out.

“We are delighted that the Village Underground and Cargo are bringing the Drinkaware Crew to Shoreditch.”