Glasgow Nightclub Glass Ban

Contact name: 
Alasdair J. M. Forsyth
Organization: 
Scottish Centre for Crime and Criminal Justice Research, Glasgow Centre for the Study of Violence.
Telephone: 
(0141) 331-8301
Address: 
Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK
Fax: 
(0141) 331-3636
Summary

Background: On 2 February 2006, a Glasgow City Council bye-law was introduced banning glassware from all venues holding an Entertainment Licence within the city centre. In practice, the policy only affected city centre premises serving alcohol after midnight (i.e. nightclubs).Objectives: The glassware policy aimed to eliminate glass, other than special safety glass.Main characteristics: glass was banned in clubs.Evaluation: Field observations were conducted in a sample of eight nightclubs following the introduction of this policy across all such venues within a city centre.Conclusion: This research demonstrated the potential of such policy to reduce the severity of alcohol-related violence in the night-time economy. It is recommended that future bans of this nature be tailored towards the elimination of all types of glassware from such premises.

Abstract

Background

On 2 February 2006, a Glasgow City Council bye-law was introduced banning glassware from all venues holding an Entertainment Licence within the city centre. Premises eligible to apply for such a license were those defined under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, as a place where on payment of money or moneys worth, members of the public are admitted or may use any facilities for the purpose of entertainment or recreation, which are licensed for the sale of alcohol. Such premises are permitted to remain open within the hours of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 (Scottish Parliament, 2005). In practice, this meant the policy only affected city centre premises that served alcohol after midnight (i.e. nightclubs).

Objectives

The glassware policy aimed to eliminate glass, other than special glass (with a target of achieving 80% plastic or aluminium during 2006), the sole exception to this being made with champagne/wine glasses, for which individual premises could apply for an exemption (see, http://www.sllp.co.uk/Glasgow%20Glass%20Revised.pdf accessed June 2007, City of Glasgow Licensing Board, 2006, for full details of this policy).

Characteristics

Legislation: ban glass in clubs.

Evaluation

Field observations were conducted in a sample of eight nightclubs following the introduction of this policy across all such venues within a city centre. These observations involved both quantitative and qualitative data collection observing violence in a naturalistic setting, and were supplemented by taped in-depth interviews with nightclub patrons.

Exemptions to the ban had enabled some premises (three out of eight) to continue to serve alcoholic drinks in glass vessels, and injurious violence resulting from these practices was observed. Disorder in all-plastic venues was observed to incur less injury risk. Patrons also reported feeling safer in these nightclubs than in others.

Conclusion

This research demonstrated the potential of such policy to reduce the severity of alcohol-related violence in the night-time economy. It is recommended that future bans of this nature be tailored towards the elimination of all types of glassware from such premises.

Intervention details

Type of intervention
Harm reduction
Problem addressed
Violence, Aggression
Intervention setting
Bar
Club/disco/afters
Target population

All patrons of nightclubs and their staff.

Substances adressed
Alcohol
Strategic target group (social agents acting as intermediaries between intervention and target group)

All patrons of nightclubs and their staff.

Intervention activities
Nightlife management
Actions
On 2 February 2006, a Glasgow City Council bye-law was introduced banning glassware from all venues holding an Entertainment Licence within the city centre. Premises eligible to apply for such a license were those defined under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, as a place where on payment of money or money's worth, members of the public are admitted or may use any facilities for the purpose of entertainment or recreation, which are licensed for the sale of alcohol. Such premises are permitted to remain open within the hours of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 (Scottish Parliament, 2005). In practice, this meant the policy only affected any city centre premises serving alcohol after midnight (i.e. nightclubs).
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

Cole, J., Plant, M., Miller, P. et al . (1994) Preventing injuries from bar glasses. British Medical Journal 308, 1237-1238.

Coomaraswamy, K. S. and Shepherd, J. P. (2003) Predictors and severity of injury in assaults with barglasses and bottles. Injury Prevention 9, 81-84.

Logic: in the face of a large number of glass injuries.

Evaluation details

Evaluation results (Outcome evaluation)

Exemptions to the ban had enabled some premises (three out of eight) to continue to serve alcoholic drinks in glass vessels, and injurious violence resulting from these practices was observed. Disorder in all-plastic venues was observed to incur less injury risk. Patrons also reported feeling safer in these nightclubs than in others.

Evaluation references

Forsyth, A. J. M. (2008) Banning Glassware from Nightclubs in Glasgow (Scotland): Observed impacts, compliance and patrons views. Alcohol & Alcoholism, 43: 1, 111-117.

An abstract for this journal article can be found in the HNT literature section here.

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