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Customer Protection

Customer Protection

As a licensed premises, the safety and well-being of your customers is a top priority. Implementing measures to protect customers is not only a legal requirement but also essential for building a positive reputation and fostering a safe environment for staff, patrons and the local community.

In this blog, we discuss the key aspects of customer protection that every licensed venue should be actively implementing.

Licensing Law and your Age Verification Policy

The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure all staff are advised of the licensing law, in writing, before they are allowed to serve alcohol. Staff should be advised that an Age Verification Policy is in place and that this must be applied throughout the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.

It is the responsibility of the Designated Premises Supervisor to ensure the supply of alcohol is carried out in accordance with licensing law and the Age Verification Policy and, therefore, staff must receive training on the Licensing Act 2003 and your premises Age Verification Policies

For more information:

Government guidance on age verification policies

Challenge 25 information

First Aid

As discussed in our previous blog on the subject of Emergency Measures, having trained staff members equipped to handle potential emergencies is crucial. This also filters down to minor incidents - ensuring that your team is aware of basic first aid procedures and having first aid kits readily available can make a significant difference in handling unexpected situations effectively.

The minimum first-aid provision for any venue should include:

To keep your staff and patrons safe, we recommended that all new staff undergo structured and documented induction training which includes basic First Aid training. The requirement to administer first aid can occur at any time, and basic and enhanced first aid training will give your staff confidence to provide assistance as necessary.

While the minimum requirement for a premises is a fully stocked first aid kit, larger premises should also consider acquiring a defibrillator and training staff to use it. If your venue does not have a defibrillator, it is good practice to make yourself and your staff familiar with the location of your nearest publicly accessible device. These include step-by-step instructions alongside the device on how to use.

Premises of any size can have a medical emergency, and consideration should be given to what steps can be taken to keep the patient safe and provide the best possible care until the emergency service arrives. For venues with a dedicated medical area, we recommend having CCTV coverage for the protection of your staff and patrons.

There have been a number of examples in which lives have been saved because a trained first aider was able to assist with appropriate equipment, such as in the case of a woman whose life was saved by trained staff in a Nottinghamshire pub, and nightclub staff in Southend who saved a man with stab wounds outside their venue.

Looking for first aid training for your staff?

Customer Vulnerability

Licensees have a duty of care towards their customers, and it is important your staff know how to identify vulnerable customers.  The National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) have produced a Welfare & Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) package for use nationally which has been produced to help you and your staff identify vulnerable people.

WAVE is based on five key principles:

  • Preventing and reducing violent crime linked to the licensed economy
  • Preventing and reducing sexual offences
  • Reducing preventable injury linked to alcohol and drug use in the licensed economy
  • Reducing opportunities for criminal activity and anti-social behaviour in licensed premises
  • Promoting partnerships and engagement with communities and key stakeholders in the licensed economy


How to respond to an acid attack

An acid attack involves a corrosive substance being thrown or sprayed on a person or people as part of a violent attack or robbery. Although 'acid attack' is the phrase most people use to refer to such incidents, they can involve acidic, alkaline or caustic chemicals. Household cleaners, drain un-blockers and industrial chemicals are substances commonly used by perpetrators.

An acid attack can happen anywhere and at any time, so in response to recent assaults of this nature, the UK Government have provided comprehensive guidance which can be used by anyone. Security staff in licensed premises may be the first to respond to acid attacks or incidents where someone has been exposed to a hazardous substance. Training your staff and keeping an acid attack first aid kit could provide crucial support and make a significant difference to a victim until emergency services arrive.

For further information and free downloadable assets for your venue, visit Protect UK.


How to identify drunk patrons or those under the influence of drugs

It is an offence under the Licensing Act 2003 (Section 141) to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk. Your staff should be fully trained on their responsibilities and the possible consequences, both for them personally and the impact on your business, if they serve alcohol to drunk persons.

The amount of alcohol that an individual consumes before becoming excessively intoxicated varies from person to person, and may be influenced by their:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Gender
  • Health
  • State of mind
  • Rate of drinking
  • Amount and type of food consumed
  • Medication
  • Frequency of drinking

The effects of drinking also vary from person to person, and may include (but are not limited to) difficulties with their speech, balance, coordination and behaviour:


  • Incoherent or muddled speech
  • Loss of train of thought
  • Rambling or unintelligible conversation
  • Slurring words


  • Bumping into or knocking over furniture or people
  • Falling down or cannot stand
  • Difficulty walking straight
  • Staggering or stumbling
  • Swaying uncontrollably
  • Unsteady on feet


  • Difficulty counting or paying money and fumbling change
  • Difficulty opening or closing doors
  • Dropping drinks
  • Inability to find mouth with a glass
  • Spilling drinks


  • Aggressive
  • Annoying/pestering others
  • Argumentative
  • Bad tempered
  • Belligerent
  • Confused
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Disorderly
  • Drowsiness or sleeping at a bar/table
  • Exuberant
  • Inappropriate sexual advances
  • Loss of inhibition
  • Loud/boisterous
  • Not understanding normal conversation
  • Offensive, including the use of offensive language
  • Overly friendly
  • Physically violent
  • Rude
  • Vomiting

Patrons under the influence of drugs (either consensually or otherwise) may show many of the same symptoms as being drunk. Although symptoms vary from substance to substance, symptoms usually include some of the following:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Difficulty concentrating or speaking
  • Loss of balance and finding it hard to move
  • Visual problems, particularly blurred vision
  • Memory loss (amnesia) or blackouts
  • Feeling confused or disorientated, particularly after waking up (if you have been asleep/unconscious)
  • Paranoia (a feeling of fear or distrust of others)
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing or touching things that aren’t there) or having an ‘out of body’ experience
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

For more information for patrons about spiking, visit out Safety Hub Blog.


In conclusion, by prioritising customer protection through measures such as first aid readiness, compliance with licensing laws, thorough age verification processes and proactive support for vulnerable customers, licensed premises managers can uphold high standards of safety and hospitality. Remember, a safe and secure environment not only benefits your customers but also contributes to the overall success of your establishment.

To obtain further information and a Policing accreditation to demonstrate your efforts for customer protection, please visit

Further information around customer protection and vulnerability is available within the Licensing SAVI assessment.