Licensing SAVI
Leeds will pilot the scheme, in conjunction with operators in the city centre across bars, pubs, and clubs.
2 mins read

Leeds propels pioneering initiative improving nightlife safety

Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative – Licensing SAVI is our confidential self-assessment tool designed to help the owners and operators of licensed premises provide a safe and secure environment for their managers, staff, customers and local communities.

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 to improve the safety and security of licensed premises. Leeds will pilot the 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 & Vulnerability Initiative, known as 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 (VRU), it 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 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-rating and apply for Licensing SAVI accreditation.

It specifically covers drink spiking and injection incidents, as well as providing guidance around issues like responsible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers. It contains a female safety policy for venues to adapt for their own use. It 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.

Licensing SAVI was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a not-for-profit police organisation, which works 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, whilst reducing the demand on Police Forces, 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 said:

“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.

“We know that sometimes people, and in particular women and girls, can feel unsafe in the city at night and so we are determined to do all we can to tackle that. The Licensing SAVI pilot is another opportunity to work with and encourage operators to further raise standards, so people enjoy their experience, are safe and feel safe, and return.”

Director of West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh said:

“Securing Leeds into this initiative, offers yet more momentum to 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.

“Particularly when it comes to the safety of women and girls, we know they are often disproportionately affected by crimes, such as spiking and sexual offences, and this approach delivers added reassurance that their welfare is paramount.”

Business Lead for Licensing SAVI, Mark Morgan, a former Police Superintendent said:

“I am thrilled and delighted that the city of Leeds has come 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 the city’s other initiatives to help its venues achieve higher standards of safety and security for the benefit of its staff and customers and build safer communities.”

Contact: Licensing SAVI

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