London's MA1 becomes first LGBT+ venue to achieve a national policing award for safety
Popular London LGBT+ nightclub, MA1, has become one of the first licensed premises in the nation’s capital to receive a National Policing Award for Safety.
MA1, a club with a wide range of themed nights, achieved this accolade after successfully taking part in a pioneering, police-led initiative to improve the safety and security of its premises for the benefit of staff, customers and local communities.
Available as an on-line self-assessment, Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI) brings together, for the first time, all the information that licensed premises need to comply with the requirements of local police and council licensing teams, achieve a star-rating and have the opportunity to apply for Licensing SAVI accreditation and an award.
The venue, located on City Road near Old Street Station, takes the safety of patrons incredibly seriously, and were keen to become early adopters of the Licensing SAVI scheme, which included training staff on the Met Police’s ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme.
Alan Roberts, who owns and manages MA1, said: “I found using Licensing SAVI was a great way of refreshing my security plans, educating my staff, and was particularly impressed with how easy the self-assessment was to use.
“I’d not previously heard of the Ask for Angela campaign; however, I was able to print off posters and provide my staff with the input around recognising and dealing with vulnerability. This turned out to be timely as about 3 weeks ago, a woman in distress approached my door staff and asked for Angela. We were able to take her to a safe space within our club and support her, ensuring she was able to contact trusted friends and get home safely. Without completing Licensing SAVI we may not have been aware of this great initiative.
“We’ve also seen a TV/TS group bring their regular function to our venue because they feel safe here, so providing a safe venue for customers, particularly within the LGBT+ community, benefits us all.’
Mark Morgan, Business Manager, Licensing SAVI, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the feedback from MA1 which highlights the benefit of using Licensing SAVI as a means for venues to improve their knowledge of current standards and good practice, with a great example of how as a venue they’ve become aware of the Ask for Angela scheme, briefed staff and subsequently able to support a vulnerable female. I’m also pleased that MA1 has attracted a new customer base owing to the fact they feel safe at the venue – that’s a positive impact all round and fits with the findings of our recent YouGov survey which shows that customers are more likely to visit a licensed premises that they feel safe at”
Licensing SAVI was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), which works alongside the Police Service to deter and reduce crime. As well as provide safer and more secure venues for managers, staff, customers, and local communities, it also seeks to reduce demand on Police Forces, NHS Ambulance Services and Accident & Emergency Departments.
A YouGov survey of 5,050 adults aged 18-45 in England and Wales commissioned by Police CPI between 16 August – 5 September this year, found that 79% of adults 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’.
The research also found that support for improved safety in venues is greatest among women – with 83% of women wanting improved safety in nightclubs compared to 75% of men; and 81% of women wanting safer bars and pubs compared to 70% of men.
On 15 October, Licensing SAVI was launched to 300 licensed venues across Bradford, Calderdale, Wakefield and Kirklees in West Yorkshire in a move funded by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit in partnership with the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.
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.
It also covers drink spiking and the use of date rape drugs, which have hit national headlines in the last few days with a number of victims from around the country saying they have been injected with drugs.
Most measures included in Licensing SAVI can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost.
The first police award of its kind, Licensing SAVI aims to support the hospitality industry and is backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Project Servator, a police-led vigilance scheme to deter terrorist attacks at crowded-places.
MA1: The Bunker
Tel: 07706 714750
Address: 215-221 City Road, London, EC1V 1JN
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