A MAN has been banned for life from 10 pubs in Cowley for allegedly abusing a bar worker.

The man has been barred from entering and drinking in a string of licensed premises under the Pubwatch scheme, but his identity is being kept secret after one of the landlords said police had told them not to talk to the Oxford Mail.

The Pubwatch project, which launched in Cowley in December, is designed to keep drinkers safe by allowing licensees to share information with each other about problem customers and ban those found to be behaving badly.

Ten pubs, The Prince of Wales, Cowley Workers, Riley’s, Fairview, The Cricketers Arms, The Nelson, The Original Swan, The Corner House, The William Morris and the Jolly Post Boys are signed up to the scheme.

Pcso Anna McCormack, a member of the Cowley neighbourhood police team, said the scheme worked by landlords and bar staff discussing the man, whom she insists is known to them already.

She said the Cowley Pubwatch, which meets every two months, had been in contact with pubs in neighbouring areas to tell them to keep an eye out for the man, who she said had attacked a bar worker.

Refusing to name him, she said: “At the moment, because it was a serious incident, his ban is down for life.

“He is known to a number of the pubs for a string of antisocial behaviour. That will be reviewed in five years though.

“If he does return to the pubs in the scheme the landlords and staff can call us and we can either ask him to leave or use trespassing, antisocial behaviour, or public order legislation to move him.”

It is understood that despite the ‘serious’ nature of the incident, the man is not facing criminal charges.

Thames Valley Police head of communications Michelle Nichols said not naming the idividual was a decision only for Pubwatch and the police should not be involved.

However, when informed that a landlord had been told by police not to talk to the Oxford Mail about it, she added: “If they were told that by a police officer or member of police staff then that is incorrect.”

Pubwatch chairman Steve Baker said guidance was not to name anyone who had been banned, although he did say there was merit in the argument that if the wider public knew who had been banned it would help with its enforcement.

“But from our perspective that’s like a naming and shaming exercise and that is not what Pubwatch does,” he added.

Katie Fellows, 19, said she occasionally used the William Morris pub, in Between Towns Road.

She said: “I think if this man is abusive to people then we should know who he is. I do think it’s a good idea other pubs are being told.”

The Cowley scheme is Oxfordshire’s 19th Pubwatch group, with the others operating in Oxford and towns around the county.