Vancouver restaurants are teaming up with the local police in a bid to deter gangsters from showing up on their premises, along with other regular customers.

Described by police as a public safety initiative, it will mirror the city's "bar watch'' program and follows a number of wild-west style shooting incidents at downtown restaurants and clubs.

The most flagrant example was the shooting at Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar in January, in which Richard Scarpino, 37, and another man were shot dead

Participating restaurants have agreed to report to police any suspicious people who are seen either in, or around their premises.

"By doing so, they will effectively add more eyes and ears to the police,'' said Vancouver Police Dept. Spt. Warren Lempcke, during a press conference, Thursday.

The program is backed by the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Assoc., along with the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Assoc.

Each participating restaurant will display a decal that signifies that they are supporting the initiative.