BUSINESSES at The Hive Leisure Park in Widnes have pledged to tackle alcohol harm and promote responsible drinking.

Five outlets have been awarded ArcAngel status by Cheshire Police for demonstrating their commitment to ensuring customers enjoy themselves in a safe environment.

Representatives from Reel Cinema, Silver Blades ice rink, Widnes Superbowl, Frankie and Bennys and Nandos restaurants have been presented with certificates by Halton Mayor, Clr Margaret Ratcliffe.

Widnes became an ′ArcAngel Protected Town′ in December 2011.

Licensing Officer PC Chris Carney said: "The Protected Town status identifies Widnes as a place where people can be reassured that the licensed premises they visit are well managed and regulated, safe places to enjoy a night out.

"Tackling alcohol related problems such as anti-social behaviour is a priority for all the agencies involved, local residents and the premises themselves.

“The partnership is focused on making Widnes safe for everyone to go out and enjoy themselves in the evening."

There are now 12 protected premises in the town.

They all follow a code of conduct to combat alcohol-related crime.

ArcAngel is a joint approach to tackling alcohol-related crime between Cheshire Police and a range of other agencies, including local councils, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and NHS trusts.

The name is derived from the acronym ARC ‘alcohol related crime’ and ‘angels’, cultural icons who look after people.