Lincoln Business Improvement Group (BIG) announces the launch of a pioneering licensing initiative to improve the safety and security of bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels across the city.
Venues across Lincoln are being invited to take part in the scheme, which encourages licensed premises to improve their operational security and management practices year on year. A number of forward-thinking venues with excellent security and management practices have already signed up, and further venues are expected to join in the coming months.
In joining the initiative, Lincolnshire joins a host of other counties to officially launch Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI), which has been developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned organisation, which works alongside the Police Service around the UK to deter and reduce crime.
Lincolnshire Police Licensing Sergeant, Ian Cotton, who introduced Licensing SAVI to local venues at a PubWatch meeting, commented: “I’m happy that, in partnership, we have brought this scheme to Lincoln and that the response from venues has been so positive. Recognising vulnerability and security is essential in providing a safe environment in the licensed sector and this scheme will help to raise awareness and standards, making Lincoln a safer place to live work and visit.”
Supporting the alcohol drinks industry, Licensing SAVI is backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and Project Servator, a police-led vigilance scheme to deter terrorist attacks at crowded places. Its aim is to provide safer and more secure venues for managers, staff, customers and local communities and to reduce the demand on hard-pressed police forces and NHS Ambulance Services and Accident & Emergency Departments.
Available to licensees as the only on-line self-assessment, Licensing SAVI covers critical issues like responsible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers through to preventing opportunist theft and improving physical security, such as lighting and CCTV systems. Most measures included in Licensing SAVI can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost.
Licensing SAVI provides consistent standards, guidance and advice that licensed premises in England and Wales need to meet the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 and promote the four Licensing Objectives: Prevention of Public Nuisance; Prevention of Crime and Disorder; Protection of Children from Harm; and Public Safety. Licensing SAVI includes a non-assessed guidance section on counter terrorism and a COVID-19 risk assessment template for licensees to use if they wish.
Licensees that complete the self-assessment will receive a Star-Rating and can apply for Licensing SAVI Accreditation and an Award for display to show the efforts undertaken to enhance safety.
Its launch is timely because it supports staff in understanding key issues with a focus upon safety and vulnerability, being a useful training tool relevant to individual venues as they see turnover of staff.
Cllr Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality at City of Lincoln Council said: "We continue to work with partners to both deliver and support initiatives in our pubs, clubs and restaurants.
"Building on the safety and security of these venues in the city for visitors and residents is of upmost importance."
Police CPI commissioned research from YouGov in Autumn 2021, in which 5,050 adults aged 18-45 in England were asked about safety in licensed premises with safety defined as ‘where efforts have been made to prevent crime, reduce harm and where staff will support you if you are feeling vulnerable’.
The survey found that adults felt significantly less safe in licensed premises today than they did prior to the first national lockdown. The fall in feeling safe was largest in nightclubs – down from 81% pre-pandemic to 48% and bars and pubs from 93% to 64%.
Asked whether they agreed with the statement that ‘recent publicity around the safety of women and girls has made it more important for licensed premises to improve their safety procedures’, a total of 79% of adults agreed that they want safety improvements in nightclubs whilst 76% want improvements in bars and pubs. Support was greatest among women. In nightclubs, 83% of women want improved safety compared to 75% of men. In bars and pubs, the percentage point difference was greater with 81% of women wanting safety improvements compared to 70% of men.
The initiative is being initially funded by Lincoln BIG, an organisation which aims to improve the experience of the city centre for businesses and people who live, work and visit, building upon the thriving nightlife that the area already enjoys.
Lee Roberts, Operations Manager, Lincoln BIG said: “Lincoln BIG are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to our licensed venues, to help them to improve the safety and security of their venue and receive an award and to be recognised for this. We want to support our venues across the Lincoln BIG area and to continue to provide the message to the public that when they visit the city, they can feel and be safe while enjoying all that Lincoln has to offer.”
Ian Shuttleworth, Licensing SAVI, commented: “Partnership working is key to improving safety and we are delighted to be working together with Lincoln BIG, Lincolnshire Police, Lincoln City Council and Lincoln Pubwatch, to bring Licensing SAVI to the city.
“For venues to be able to display an award for their safety in the form of a Star-Rating, I believe will help licensed premises build customer loyalty, attract new customers and grow support from their local communities, in making their venue widely known as a safe place to enjoy.”
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About Police CPI (PCPI):
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) is a police-owned, not-for-profit organisation which delivers a wide range of innovative and ground-breaking crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives to support the UK Police Service, Government and the public. Senior police officers from England, Scotland and Wales control and direct the work Police CPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service. Visit: https://www.policecpi.com
Police CPI and the Women’s Night Safety Charter
As part of its commitment to providing safer and more secure bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels through Licensing SAVI, Police CPI has signed up to the Women’s Night Safety Charter, which seeks to make London a place where women feel ‘confident and welcome’ at night. It means Police CPI will actively support the Charter’s seven pledges and encourage other businesses and organisations in the capital to join in to tackle violence against women. Visit: https://www.policecpi.com/news/227-police-cpi-sign-up-to-women-s-night-safety-charter