Pubs and clubs in Telford and Wrekin are the first in the West Midlands to sign up to a night-time safety scheme which could see them awarded a five-star rating.
In the same way premises are awarded a food hygiene score, the Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative (LSAVI), scores licensed venues on how safe they are for customers and staff. It’s hoped the police-led scheme will give customers confidence when visiting night spots and boost business at those that receive five stars.
Telford & Wrekin Council, in partnership with West Mercia Police, is taking a lead when it comes to helping people feel safe while visiting night-time venues. Encouraging sign up to LSAVI is part of a wider programme to tackle violence against women and girls.
Through the council’s safer streets funding, about 60 licensed venues will receive the first year’s membership free. Premises already registered include Albert’s Shed in Southwater which hosted an event for licensees to find out more about LSAVI.
PCC John Campion said:”
(The council’s Safer & Stronger Communities project, will fund about 60 licenses, ensuring the cost of the first year’s membership comes at no cost.)
David Gregg, operations manager at the live music venue said:
“LSAVI brings together all the things licensees should be doing to be compliant and puts it all in one place to make it easy to make our venues as safe as possible.
“Safety is paramount because we want people to enjoy themselves on a night out. It’s also important for our staff to feel safe and the training will help them spot potential issues.”
This could include drink spiking, for example, and LSAVI gives specific advice on reducing the risk.
Vicki Ridgewell, exploitation and vulnerability trainer from West Mercia Police said:
“LSAVI gives licensees the tools to recognise vulnerability and understand Ask for Angela and Ask for Clive. If someone has been spiked staff will know what action to take to look after that person and help secure a police prosecution.”
Available as an online self-assessment, LSAVI helps licensees identify areas of improvement. They will then be scored and can display their star rating to show customers they are a safe place to visit.
Councillor Paul Watling, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities said:
“Telford & Wrekin Council is taking the lead when it comes to making our pubs and clubs as safe as possible and LSAVI is a great opportunity for licensees to show they take safety and vulnerability seriously.
“When premises apply to LSAVI, officers from our night-time economy team and West Mercia Police will visit them first and only then will they be given a star rating. We will work with venues to help them achieve the top rating.
“We want people to enjoy a great night out in Telford and Wrekin and feel reassured that the place they are visiting has taken all the steps it can to be safe, secure and welcoming.”
Ian Shuttleworth, development officer from LSAVI said:
“LSAVI is aimed at reducing crime and raising standards by increasing knowledge and was developed at the request of the Home Office.
“Having a national policing award for safety will attract customers to your venue. The LSAVI logo tells people that your venue will look after them.
“If we see lots of venues in Telford and Wrekin signing up for LSAVI what you’re saying is come here for a night out, it’s a safe area.”