In UK City, Test Puts Metal Detectors at Entrances to Nightclubs

Airport-style metal detectors have been used for the first time to stop revellers taking weapons into pubs and clubs.

The Ł4,000 system - the police's latest weapon against knife crime - was set up outside eight Leicester venues on Friday.

No-one was forced to use them, but licensees agreed anyone refusing to pass through would be barred.

Police did not find anyone carrying a weapon.

Licensing officer Pc Sean McOwen said: "This is a really good tool to help us to do our job. It makes our role a lot easier.

"These have been accepted by the licensees and the doorstaff around the town.

"This weekend was a trial for us as well as the licensees."

"This is a 100 per cent result for us.

"We have had a couple refuse but, because it is a condition of entry, they are not going in the pub.

"We're going to use it sporadically at different times and places, both during the day and at night.

"The detector will pick up anything metal, including press studs, belts and things on shoes.

"Officers use their discretion on whether to take the search further."

The detectors have sensors set close to the ground as many people caught with weapons have hidden them in socks or shoes.

Police said the detectors had received a great response from licensees.

Robin Duberley, manager of The Corn Exchange, in Market Place, had the detector outside the entrance.

He said: "I think it's a great idea. This reinforces everything we are trying to do.

"The customers do not seem to be fazed.

"The safer we can make the city centre, the better."

James Ford, 21, passed through the detector before heading into The Corn Exchange.

He said: "The improved security is a good thing. Taking that extra precaution can only be a good thing."

His friend, Russell Patterson, 22, said: "I suppose it's good - apart from it's freezing and we are having to wait three times as long to get in."

In 2005/06, police recorded 710 assaults and robberies involving knives in Leicestershire.

The total was up from 652 in 2004/05.