PLASTIC glasses are to be given to Accrington pubs and nightclubs in a bid to reduce the injuries caused by glass attacks.
Around 5,000 plastic glasses, which are designed to look and feel like normal glasses, will be given to seven pubs and clubs across the town this weekend.
The move comes after the Observer highlighted two serious unprovoked glass attacks in the town centre in November when both victims received severe facial injuries. Following the incidents, officers were keen to try and prevent similar attacks.
This week the Bees Knees, The Bridge, Baileys, Industry, Enty’s, The Attic Live and the Warners will all receive the glasses, which have been funded by Hyndburn Community Safety Partnership (CSP).
Town centre licensing officer PC Les Sholicar said: "The glasses are made of a specially-reinforced polycarbonate which, although lighter, has the same feel as regular glasses.
"They are practically unbreakable, which means they cannot be used as a weapon, and I hope that they will help reduce the number of assaults, while also reducing injuries caused by people falling on broken glass.
"I am delighted with the enthusiastic response from the licensees involved in this initiative. We have also had many inquiries from other pubs in Hyndburn asking how they can get hold of these glasses and we hope to do further work to encourage suppliers to use plastic bottles instead of glass."
Councillor Brian Roberts, chairman of the CSP, added: "We are pleased to able to support the police in responding to changing priorities. If, as a result of this initiative, fewer people suffer from this type of assault, then the CSP has achieved its goal in making Hyndburn a safer place."
Licensee at the Bees Knees, Darren Bassett, said: "We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with the police in their efforts to reduce the number of glass-related injuries. We are eager to take part in any initiative that will make Accrington a safer place for people to spend their leisure time."
Detective Constable Mark Gillibrand, based at Accrington CID, said there had been over 20 glass and bottle attacks in Accrington town centre pubs and clubs since the beginning of the yeaqr.
He added: "I think this is a very good move and I'm pleased to see it happen so quickly.
"I anticipate it having an immediate effect and we will have an indication by Monday whether it works. It should go some way to reducing the number of victims of glass attacks."