The Chelmsford and Maldon District Commander has commended a community scheme after it received a national prize at the House of Lords.

The Chelmsford City Pubwatch was named the winner of the 2018 Diageo National Pubwatch Award in London on Tuesday night.

The group is a part of a national initiative which helps bars and pubs to work alongside police officers, firefighters and their councils to prevent crime and disorder in their communities.

Chief Inspector Gerry Parker, Chelmsford and Maldon District Commander attended the ceremony.

He said: "Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all involved, our scheme has proved extremely successful in not only making Chelmsford a safer and more enjoyable place to socialise, but also in helping to tackle anti-social behaviour and violent crime associated with the night time economy, both of which are priorities for the district.

“Those working within our bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs can also do so, safe in the knowledge that they have support from officers, partners and other local licensed premises, to take action against troublemakers through the sharing of information and schemes such as ‘Behave or Be Banned’.

“A special thanks goes to our licensing team who has led this initiative on behalf of the force and worked with our partners to offer advice and support.”

Nick Halle, chairman of the group was incredibly proud of its achievement and partnership with organisations in the district.

He said: “Chelmsford City Pubwatch has forged an excellent partnership with Essex Police and other organisations and we work hard to provide our staff and customers with a safe night out.

"It’s great that our efforts have been recognised and I’m really proud to accept this trophy on behalf of our members.”

Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford will be formally presenting the award to the group's members at this year's Best Bar None Awards.

She added: "I am delighted that Chelmsford’s scheme won the National Pubwatch Awards 2018.

“This reflects the massive teamwork of so many different organisations that work together to keep the city centre safe at night.

“The judges particularly praised the innovate approach that club owners, voluntary organisations and the Police have done to reduce drug taking, violence and underage drinking.”