Tag Archives: Police Crime Prevention Initiatives

City of Leeds joins pioneering initiative to improve night-time safety

The city of Leeds, which has one of the largest evening and night-time economies in the UK, has joined a pioneering police-led initiative designed to improve the safety and security of licensed premises. Leeds will pilot this scheme in conjunction with operators in the city centre across bars, pubs and clubs.

The city’s participation means the whole of West Yorkshire is now supporting the Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative (ie Licensing SAVI), with Bradford, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees already signed up.

Each of the five areas will be encouraging 60 licensed venues to take part – making a total of 300 venues in West Yorkshire – as the county leads the national roll-out of the scheme throughout England and Wales.

Funded by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, the project is being delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.

Licensing SAVI encourages venues to improve their operational security and management practices year-on-year by using an online self-assessment, which includes all the police and council licensing information that venues need to meet statutory licensing requirements for safety and security. Venues can be awarded a ‘star’-based rating and apply for Licensing SAVI accreditation.

The initiative specifically covers drink spiking and injection incidents, which have made media headlines over the last few months, as well as providing guidance around issues like responsible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers.

There’s a female safety policy for venues to adapt for their own use, while Licensing SAVI also covers physical security, such as emergency exits, lighting and CCTV systems. Most measures included in Licensing SAVI can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost.

Home Office request

Licensing SAVI was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, a not-for-profit police organisation working alongside the police service throughout the UK to deter and reduce crime.

The aim of the initiative is to provide safer and more secure venues for managers, staff, customers and local communities and also reduce the demand on police forces, the NHS Ambulance Services and Accident & Emergency Departments.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for resources with responsibility for ‘Safer Leeds’, explained: “Leeds is proud of its prestigious Purple Flag status in Leeds city centre, which reflects the tremendous work being undertaken day-in, day-out by a range of partners to make the Leeds night-time economy more attractive, diverse and safe for all. The Licensing SAVI pilot is another opportunity to work with and encourage operators to further raise standards such that people can enjoy their experience, are safe and, importantly, feel safe.”

Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh, director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, added: “Bringing Leeds into this initiative offers yet more momentum for our collective goal of increasing safety within West Yorkshire’s vibrant night-time economy. This now fully-unified approach means that people enjoying our towns and cities can do so in the knowledge that establishments are operating to a consistent and high standard.”

Marsh continued: “When it comes to the safety of women and girls, we know they’re often disproportionately affected by acts of criminality such as drink spiking and sexual offences. The Licensing SAVI approach delivers added reassurance that their welfare is paramount.”

Mark Morgan, business lead for Licensing SAVI and a former police superintendent, concluded: “I’m thrilled and delighted that the city of Leeds is on board. Leeds has a reputation for wanting to improve the vibrancy and safety of its evening and night-time economy. Licensing SAVI will complement all of the city’s other initiatives designed to help its venues achieve higher standards of safety and security for the benefit of staff and customers alike.”

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Licensing SAVI launches for 300 pubs, bars and clubs across West Yorkshire region

West Yorkshire’s high-profile Violence Reduction Unit, which is part of the Mayoral Combined Authority and leads a number of partner organisations across the county to tackle violent crime, has announced the launch of a pioneering licensing initiative designed to improve the safety and security of bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels.

A total of 300 specially selected licensed premises across the Bradford, Calderdale, Wakefield and Kirklees Metropolitan District Council areas are being invited to take part in the scheme, which encourages venues to improve their operational security and management practices year-on-year.

Indeed, West Yorkshire has become the first county in England and Wales to officially launch Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative (ie Licensing SAVI), which has been developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, itself a police-owned organisation working alongside the police service around the UK to deter and reduce crime.

Independent from the alcoholic drinks industry, Licensing SAVI is backed by the National Police Chiefs Council and Project Servator, the police-led vigilance scheme orchestrated to deter terrorist attacks at crowded places. Its aim is to provide safer and more secure venues for managers, staff, customers and local communities alike and to reduce the demand on hard-pressed police forces and NHS Ambulance Services as well as Accident and Emergency Departments.

Available to licensees as an online self-assessment, Licensing SAVI covers critical issues like responsible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers right through to preventing opportunist theft and improving physical security by way of the installation of security lighting and CCTV systems. Most measures included within Licensing SAVI can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost.

Consistent standards, guidance and advice

For the first time, Licensing SAVI provides consistent standards, guidance and advice that the managers of licensed premises in England and Wales need to adhere to in order meet the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.

It actively promotes the four ‘Licensing Objectives’: the Prevention of Public Nuisance, the Prevention of Crime and Disorder; the Protection of Children from Harm and also 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 so wish.

Licensees who complete the self-assessment will receive a Star Rating and can apply for Licensing SAVI accreditation as well as an award for display on the premises to show the efforts undertaken to enhance safety.

Timely launch

Licensing SAVI’s launch is timely because it can become part of a venue’s business recovery planning and as a refresher resource for the return of staff who/ve been furloughed, so too the recruitment and training of new staff to replace those who have left.

YouGov research (commissioned by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives) of 5,050 adults aged between 18 and 45 in England for the period 16 August through to 5 September 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 feel significantly less safe in licensed premises today than they did prior to the first national lockdown in March 2020. The fall in feeling safe was largest in nightclubs, where the numbers are down from 81% pre-pandemic to 48% and in 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, while 76% of respondents want to see improvements in bars and pubs.

Support was greatest among women. In nightclubs, 83% of those females surveyed 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 those males questioned.

Tackling violent crime

The Licensing SAVI initiative is being funded by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, which seeks to tackle violent crime and the underlying causes of violent crime through early intervention, prevention and education by working closely with representatives of key partner organisations including healthcare bodies, the police and local government, education, youth justice, prisons, the probation service and core community groups.  

The West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit is delivering the initiative in partnership with the West Yorkshire Public Health Reducing Violent Crime Network, which includes public health, police service and council licensing teams. This network is led by Chloe Froggett, knowledge hub manager for the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, and Emm Irving (manager for improving population health at the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership).

Chief superintendent Jackie Marsh, director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, said: “Given the unprecedented experience that the sector has endured over the past year or so, it’s really important that we’re able to support venues across the county in providing a safe environment in which they can operate. By funding this initiative and anticipating any potential issues, we can give premises the knowledge, security and confidence they require that will ultimately work to reduce the incidence of violent crime and associated issues.”

Marsh went on to comment: “Aside the backdrop of preventing violence against women and girls, and also kick-starting the night-time economy, this partnership approach represents another step in the right direction.”

Foremost priority

Sarah Muckle, director of public health for Bradford Council and lead public health director for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, explained: “We’re proud of the partnership involving the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and, indeed, all of the joint work that’s taking place. Providing a safe and secure environment for local communities is a priority for us all. Giving local businesses good guidance to keep their premises safe and secure is one way in which we can help to achieve this.”

Mark Morgan, business lead for Licensing SAVI and a former police superintendent, added: “I look forward to supporting the West Yorkshire region with the Licensing SAVI initiative, which will contribute to safer licensed premises and reduced alcohol-related violence.”

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PCPI delivers crime prevention diploma for officers of eleven police forces

Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs) representing eleven police forces are among the latest to undertake the accredited Level 5 Diploma in Crime Prevention – Designing Out Crime delivered by the Police Crime Prevention Academy. 

All 15 individuals who undertook the accredited qualification in March are newly-appointed DOCOs who will now be in a unique position to influence their managers and partner agencies in seeking sustainable reductions in crime and helping to make local communities safer. 

Bedfordshire Police, Leicestershire Police, North Wales Police, South Wales Police, Surrey Police, Kent Police, Dorset Police, Avon and Somerset Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, West Midlands Police and the British Transport Police were all represented at the national delivery stage of the Level 5 Designing Out Crime qualification, which provides the learning and application that’s required for this specialist role. 

The virtual classroom phase delivered last month welcomed various guest speakers, including Superintendent Stephen Burns (the staff officer for chief constable Stephen Watson, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on crime prevention).

Superintendent Burns said: “The role of the DOCO is a specialist one within policing which can significantly reduce vulnerability, demand and crime, making our communities safer not only today, but for generations to come. The enthusiasm shown by the participants underpinned by their knowledge and expertise will ensure they play a transformative role when back on duty.”

Empowerment for DOCOs

Guy Collyer, head of the Police Crime Prevention Academy, commented: “This national delivery of the Level 5 Designing Out Crime qualification was ground-breaking in many ways, from having the opportunity to support so many new DOCOs at the start of their careers through to being able to secure inputs that help to empower DOCOs in making others within the police service aware of their role and its positive impact on reducing crime.”          

The Police Crime Prevention Academy is an approved centre for the awarding body ProQual and has the exclusive link with the Secured by Design initiative. The Academy is an established provider of training for police and partner agencies, offering national and local delivery with virtual and face-to-face learning. It delivers a range of accredited qualifications, courses and bespoke events, and also prides itself in keeping the quality of its qualifications at a premium and the costs to a minimum.

The Academy is part of PCPI, the police-owned, non-profit organisation that works on behalf of the police service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and police demand reduction initiatives. The Academy maintains close working links with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, as well as senior police officers from across the UK, and is the established supplier to the police service for crime prevention learning and development.

*Further information about the range of qualifications offered by the Academy can be obtained by visiting https://www.crimepreventionacademy.com/ or e-mailing info@crimepreventionacademy.com

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Police Crime Prevention Initiatives to support Safer Streets Fund initiative 2021-2022

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives will be providing another round of support to the Government’s latest Safer Streets Fund initiative. This second £20 million round of the Safer Streets Fund aims to build upon the momentum instilled by the first round of funding, offering Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and local authorities the opportunity to invest in new hotspot areas.

Safer Streets Fund 2021-2022 will maintain a number of the core characteristics of the initiative that have already made it a success to date, while also making minor strategic changes such as allowing local authority-orchestrated bids.

For 2021-2022, a total Safer Streets Fund of £20 million has been set, with a maximum of £432,000 worth of grant funding per successful bid. There’s a requirement for a 20% matched funding contribution towards the bid, which can be provided as a financial contribution, or the equivalent of 20% in resourcing costs (eg staff/officer time).

Bidders will also have flexibility to use the matched funding contributions for a wider range of supplementary activity to their bid (eg officer resource in a hotspot).

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives will be providing technical guidance to help PCCs, local authorities and Designing Out Crime Officers deliver on the new objectives, which primarily focus the Safer Streets Fund on four neighbourhood crime types: burglary, robbery, theft from the person and vehicle crime.

The Safer Streets Fund 2021-2022 also allows investment into commercial and non-residential areas such as car parks and city centres. Wider acquisitive crime types (eg shoplifting and bike theft) will be considered as secondary outcomes, as will episodes like anti-social behaviour, violence and drug and alcohol-related crime.

Deciding on prioritisation

Three priority bids per PCC area can be submitted regardless of the lead bidder. Ultimately, PCCs will decide on prioritisation and be required to sign off on any local authority-led bids. The deadline for bids is midnight on 25 March. Bidders will be informed as to whether they’ve been successful by the end of May.

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives’ support for the Safer Streets Fund includes five ‘How to’ crime prevention guides, peer reviews of 15 police forces’ separate approaches to acquisitive crime prevention and the provision of ad hoc advice and guidance to forces having difficulties with delivering specific interventions.

Jon Cole, chief operating officer for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, observed: “I’m delighted that we can continue to support PCCs, local authorities and police forces in their delivery of the Safer Streets Fund bids.”

The updated Safer Streets Fund crime prevention toolkit can be accessed at this link: https://whatworks.college.police.uk/Research/Documents/Safer_Streets_toolkit.pdf. Further details about applying to the Safer Streets Fund are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safer-streets-fund-application-process

The 2020-2021 Safer Streets Fund provided £25 million in funding to 35 PCCs to invest in a range of physical situational crime prevention measures such as home security, ‘alleygating’, CCTV, street lighting, training community wardens or establishing Neighbourhood Watch schemes across 52 high crime areas in England and Wales.

Range of support material

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives created a range of support material for the Safer Streets Fund 2020-2021, among them a number of technical guides, a range of training courses to assist PCCs in making their bids, a series of 26 blogs in the Knowledge Hub and 26 weekly, live, hour-long crime prevention Q&A sessions delivered virtually via Microsoft Teams for those involved in the delivery of the Safer Streets Fund. Further, Police Crime Prevention Initiatives provided ongoing support to local police Designing Out Crime Officers who are attached to police forces and help introduce and implement crime prevention measures and techniques for local areas in a concerted bid to deter and reduce crime.

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives is a police-owned organisation that works to deliver a wide range of innovative crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives designed to support the wider UK police service, Government and the general public. The organisation maintains close working links with the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s national leads, central Government, manufacturers and companies involved in providing security products (within the UK and those in countries that supply the UK), standards authorities and key stakeholders such as planners, architects, developers, local authorities, housing associations, academia and the public.

*Further information about Police Crime Prevention Initiatives is available online at www.policecpi.com

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“87% of Britons feel unsafe at their place of worship” reveals Jacksons Fencing survey

Jacksons Fencing’s latest research has uncovered the experiences and concerns of the UK’s faith communities when it comes to criminality. Six-in-ten people of the 2,000 individuals surveyed believe their place of worship has been a target of crime, while it appears that almost half of all places of worship are targeted on a monthly basis and upwards of one-in-ten are targeted daily.

The company has released various insights into security at religious venues contained in its White Paper entitled ‘Places of Worship: Understanding Security Issues’. The findings highlight the most pressing safety concerns of the UK’s faith communities, centred on from physical and verbal harassment through to theft, burglary and vandalism.

More than half (54%, in fact) of those people surveyed agree that lots of physical security makes them feel nervous, while the majority (76%) feel safer with a certain amount of security measures in place.

Crime perpetrated at religious venues is far too frequent, with three-quarters (74%) of respondents saying their place of worship is a target of crime at least on a yearly basis. Compared to five years ago, the situation hasn’t improved. Most people (81%) report that the amount of crime on-site has either remained the same or increased.

Despite the frequency of incidences, places of worship play an increasingly vital role in society, with 44% of worshipers saying they are more a place of asylum and safety than they used to be.


Greatest concerns

Three-quarters of respondents remain concerned about security threats, the most worrying of these being vandalism (18%), burglary, theft and robbery (17%) and personal physical attacks (17%). Of those concerned about vandalism, these individuals are most worried about broken windows (52%), damage to the building’s exterior (46%) and graffiti (45%).

With only 13% of people saying they feel secure enough at their place of worship, there is clearly much work to be done. However, while three-quarters (76%) feel safer with security measures in place, there’s a fine line to be drawn. As stated, 54% say lots of physical security makes them feel nervous.

Popular security measures taken by religious bodies include more tightly controlled access (38%), moving donation boxes to more secure areas (37%), removing valuables from display (30%) and increasing physical security measures (25%).

Moving forward, people would feel safer with CCTV (42%), alarm systems (31%), gates (27%), better lighting (24%) and the installation of security fencing (23%).

Detect, defend, deter

Peter Jackson, managing director at Jacksons Fencing, commented: “Places of worship need to be both safe and welcoming. Security has to make worshipers feel safe, provide solace and not deter those requiring support. With so many religious buildings of all faiths being regularly targeted by criminals, the security measures implemented should not only detect and defend against attacks, but they should also deter potential criminals or intruders from making an attempt at crime in the first instance.”

Michael Brooke, head of operational services for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, advised: “A sensible and practical level of security, which will not adversely affect the efficient running of the place of worship, is essential. The majority of burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves who choose premises that have no obvious signs of security and where they think they will not be seen.”

Brooke added: “Having someone in place who meets and greets visitors is a great preventative measure. In particular, having someone there who knows the congregation enables strangers to be identified such that they can be either welcomed or turned away. It’s also useful to remove and lock valuables away during times outside of services.”

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