A NEW scheme which aims to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder will be launched tonight in Winchester.

The Best Bar None scheme, piloted in Manchester in 2003, works to improve communication and relationships between licensed traders, police and local authorities in an effort to combat drink-related offences.

The students’ union at the University of Winchester was awarded the National Union of Students’ Best Bar None scheme for the second year running in 2013.

Now the union is working in partnership with Winchester Business Improvement District to introduce the scheme to the city centre.

Jane Bastock, crime reduction officer at Winchester BID, said: “Taking part in this nationally accredited award encourages businesses to share best practice and build good working relationships with the police and local authorities, and the competitive nature of the scheme keeps businesses constantly on the lookout for innovative ideas to improve business and creates healthy competition between the venues.”

Tom Manville, manager of the University of Winchester students’ union, said: “The winner of the Winchester Best Bar None scheme will show a commitment to operating to a high standard with well thought out risk strategies and a genuine regard for the wellbeing of all staff and customers.”

The scheme will be officially launched at 7pm in the Vault at the Winchester students’ union.