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Safety Benchmark and Training Resource

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives is a police organisation that works closely with the Home Office and alongside the Police Service to deter and reduce crime.

In the first of five articles, Mark Morgan, explains our Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative and how it can make licensed premises safer year on year and support staff in their training and development…

Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI) is the most comprehensive, single source of information for licensed premises to obtain all the guidance, advice and standards they need to comply with the Licensing Act 2003 and meet the requirements of the ‘Responsible Authorities’, including Police and Council Licensing Teams.

Licensing SAVI is ground-breaking because, for the first time ever, licensees in England and Wales have consistent information to promote the four Licensing Objectives: Prevention of Public Nuisance, Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Protection of Children from Harm, and Public Safety.

Developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), Licensing SAVI is backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Project Servator, a police-led vigilance scheme to deter terrorist attacks at crowded places.

Conveniently available as an online self-assessment, Licensing SAVI brings together definitive information on effective management practices and operational security including safety measures, many of which can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost and some which licensed premises may not have considered before. 

Its aim is to deliver authoritative ‘best practice’ for bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, theatres and sporting clubs to make them safer and more secure year on year for the benefit of managers, staff, customers and local communities. Importantly, completion of the self-assessment can lead to Accreditation and an Award with a Star-Rating for display to show a venue’s commitment to safety and security.

Appropriate for start-up businesses to established operators, and single independent premises to large groups of venues, its advice and guidance embraces safety and security inside premises and in garden and other outdoor seating areas during operating hours to security when closed.

Licensing SAVI covers critical issues like sensible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers through to opportunist theft and physical venue security.

For example, how do licensees manage unplanned large queues; deal with prohibited items like drugs or weapons; and eject badly behaving customers – and by what route?

What are the venue’s management practices on pre-employment checks, age verification, staff branded uniforms and ID badges, customer searches, and in the most extreme circumstances – calling emergency services? Do staff know the fire emergency procedures and what needs to be done if a crime is committed?

How adequate is the venue’s security equipment, such as CCTV and lighting? What about having raised areas behind bars, and strategically placed mirrors, to help staff see what’s going on? Are tills within easy reach of customers? Are there notices to assist customers to get home, such as the display of taxi contact details or bus and train times? What about dispersal plans when everyone leaves at the same time?

Licensing SAVI is well-placed – and timely – to be used as part of a Business Recovery Plan following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and for the training of staff who are returning after being furloughed and the recruitment of new staff to replace those who have left.

It’s also an ideal template for on-going personal development as Licensing SAVI will be updated regularly to keep pace with new legislation, changing patterns of criminal behaviour and hospitality industry best practices.

In addition, with its Star-Rating Award system, Licensing SAVI encourages licensees to make their premises safer and more secure every year to display an even higher Star-Rating to make customers aware of the venue’s ongoing priority to keep staff and customers safe.

You can undertake the Licensing SAVI self-assessment by clicking the button below: