Officers in Watford organised an event at PRYZM on Wednesday, to share safeguarding advice and information with local night-time economy staff, as part of their ongoing work to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG).
Over one hundred people were in attendance, which included local bar and pub staff, licensed premises owners, hotel staff, door staff and security staff.
The day was organised by Watford Police’s Senior Licensing Officer, Jo Tomkins, with support from Watford Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman and Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Matt Langley.
A number of guest speakers were at the event, which ran between 12pm and 2pm, including representatives from Hollie Guard, Licensing SAVI, Ask for Angela, Ask 4 Clive and officers from the Hertfordshire Constabulary HALO team.
The presentations talked through additional safeguarding measures that could be used and promoted by local premises’ to maximise security of those enjoying a night out in Watford – from details about the Hollie Guard personal safety app, which allows you to send live alerts to your emergency contacts, to Ask for Angela, a scheme that has been put in to place for women to covertly ask for help should they feel in danger on a night out.
There was also an opportunity for attendees to ask questions once the presentations were finished, with local Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeants, Licensing Officers, and Crime Prevention officers on hand to give advice.
Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman said: “We had a fantastic turnout at this event, and we hope that we can continue to work closely with our local businesses to continue running information sessions such at this.
“Watford has a busy night-time economy, and it is so important that we all work together to ensure that everyone who visits Watford for a night out can have a safe and enjoyable time. I would like to personally extend my thanks to everyone who came, to the presenters who shared valuable insights and information, and last but not least to Jo for organising this event. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.”
Senior Licensing Officer Jo Tomkins, who organised the event, said: “Thank you to PRYZM for partnering with us for this event, and letting us use their facilities for the afternoon. My team and I have done lots of work regarding the night-time economy in Watford, working closely with partners and local businesses, and it was great to see so many people taking advantage of this free event.”
The Hollie Guard personal safety app can be downloaded for free to your mobile phone via the App Store – more information is available on their website.
‘Ask for Angela’ and ‘Ask 4 Clive’ posters and stickers are displayed in discreet locations inside participating pubs, bars and restaurants. They aim to empower people to feel safe on a night out and educate staff on how to spot the signs of anyone who may be vulnerable and how to address them.
Licensing SAVI is a self-assessment tool that licensed premises can use, to help provide a safer and more secure environment for their patrons. More information is available on the Licensing SAVI website.
Welfare And Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) training is a package developed to provide those working in the licensed industry with an awareness of vulnerability, their responsibilities and how to deal with it. It explores what vulnerability is within the licensed economy and how to identify it, to prevent and reduce harm to vulnerable people in licensed premises. It’s all about prevention, reduction of violent crime and sexual offences. This initiative is supported by Hertfordshire Constabulary, NHS Direct, Rape Crisis, Terrence Higgins Trust, Met Police, Crimestoppers, Victim Support and SurvivorsUK. For more information, you can visit their website.
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