Watford’s bars and nightclubs could be required to subsidise the cost of policing outside with a "late-night levy" in proposals discussed at a meeting yesterday evening.
The suggestion is outlined in Police Crime Commissioner David Lloyd’s draft police and crime plan, discussed last night at a meeting in Rickmansworth.
In the document, which is intended to help shape the future of policing in the county, David Lloyd says a major strategy on tackling crimes against business will be released in the autumn.
He says: "Where the nature of business increases the risk and requires additional policing, I will be working with responsible business leaders to establish a fair deal for Hertfordshire’s taxpayers.
"This could include working with the pub trade to tackle alcohol related offences together, funded by sponsorship, by voluntary agreements, or by ‘late night levy’ paid by late-opening premises in specific areas."
But at the meeting Mr Lloyd stressed the importance of nightlife to the local economy, saying: "Nightlife is really valuable; I talk about business because I am one of the most business focussed commissioners.
"I will make sure I am working closely with Dorothy (Thornhill) and listening to what she thinks is best.
"It is about finding out what’s best for Watford and finding out what’s best for each place."
The report also advocates a review of the national charging regime for sports and entertainment events but Mr Lloyd says he doesn’t expect to increase the amount Watford FC are charged for policing matches.
He said: "We have got a good relationship with Watford and I do not see us trying to change that good relationship.
"I think it’s unlikely they will be asked to pay more."
The manner in which CCTV is operated in the county could also change if a proposal to re-tender the whole contract to a single supplier.
Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, who sits as the Watford representative on the Police and Crime Panel, said she was keen to protect the things that attract people to Watford.
She said: "At the last meeting I said to him (Mr Lloyd) I would hope he would discuss it with us in the council because they cannot do it without us.
"I am in favour of looking at ways to get pubs and clubs to pay more towards their policing bill but not without knowing all the implications."