Police will be forced to tread carefully with Pubwatch schemes for fear of breaching the Human Rights Act.

Police have accepted an interpretation from the solicitor of two banned Gloucester men who said if police played a part in issuing a banning order it constituted an unfair trial.

National Pubwatch said pubs could still ban people but police would only be able to support the scheme rather than manage it.

This was because a pub was not a public authority, which meant human rights legislation did not apply. However police involvement in the process of the ban could be illegal.