PUBS in Leigh have been handed walkie-talkies in a bid to share information about night-time crime.

Leigh PubWatch has spent £1,200 on a radio system, which went live on Monday, allowing its members to pass on information about drunk, violent or abusive punters.

Les Harrison, watch chairman and manager of Bellini’s and Louis XIV, said landlords had used mobile phones to keep on top of antisocial customers in the past, but they had been less than reliable.

He said: “With phones, you often don’t hear them in a pub, so we needed something else. Now each of our 20 or so members have a two-way radio. The idea is to deter trouble in Leigh and make it easier to catch people when there is bother.

“If a person or group of people give us cause for concern, or we turn them away because they’ve had too much to drink, we can put that communication out to other pubs. If a person’s barred from one pub they’re barred from them all. This is going to be very useful.”

Police Insp Brad Dickel said: “There’s a very similar set-up in Southend, where they also have a radio in the CCTV room. Although we’re not blessed with a CCTV system in Leigh, this will dramatically increase the chances of prosecution and arrest, allowing us to take care of any problems far quicker.”