PUBS and clubs in Weymouth are adopting an early closure scheme in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Seven establishments voluntarily agreed in January to stop the sale of alcohol at 5am.

The six-month pilot aims to prevent the crossover between night-time revellers leaving pubs and clubs, and families enjoying the seafront in the early morning.

The scheme also hopes to decrease the number of alcohol-related incidents.

Keith Treggiden, chairman of Weymouth Pubwatch, said: “The bars are working together to reduce the times of operation and have implemented some changes, one of these changes is closing at 5am instead of 7am.

“Security teams are used to disperse people quietly and guide them to taxis, along with keeping noise to a minimum. The bars have done this at their own cost but with the full support of Weymouth Pubwatch.

"We as Pubwatch are committed to a safer Weymouth and are working together with Dorset Police and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council in trialling initiatives to that extent.”

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council has been working in partnership with Dorset Police and Public Health Dorset to introduce the scheme.

The borough council is responsible for issuing licences for premises to sell alcohol in Weymouth and Portland.

Councillor Michael Goodman, briefholder for community safety, said: “We would like to praise the responsible actions of the pubs and clubs in Weymouth which have signed up to the scheme.

“This is showing a commitment from licensees and statutory organisations to ensure Weymouth is an enjoyable and safe place to go out at night.

“Those involved voluntarily reduced their opening hours which we hope will reduce anti-social behaviour in the town centre at night, but also ensure our night time economy remains vibrant.”

Pubs and clubs in the scheme are expected to finish alcohol sales by 5am and have their premises cleared by 5.15am.

Premises that have signed up so far include: The Nook, The Lazy Lizard, Actors, Dolce Vita, Goldfingers, Dusk, Tuatara-Bar/The Closet.

Parviz Marseh, who owns both Dolce Vita and Actors, said: “I signed up because I think it will be beneficial to us as suppliers, the customers and the economy to close early.

“I personally wanted to close earlier than that.

“Some of the businesses they rely on the income late evening or early morning.”

Mr Marseh said he wanted to see a further crackdown on drinking in public areas.

Inspector Pete Browning of Weymouth Police, said: “This is a positive step towards achieving our joint goal of making Weymouth a safe and friendly place for people to visit.

“As the new Neighbourhood Inspector for Weymouth and Portland I have started to make contact through Pubwatch and work closely with our licensees.

“It’s refreshing to see many premises taking this voluntary step to help reduce anti-social behaviour in the area, and should be commended for their encouraging action in protecting their community.”