Hackney Council has launched a new venue accreditation scheme to help tackle issues such as hate crime, pickpocketing, and women and girls’ safety.
The venue accreditation scheme will offer licensed venues throughout Hackney free safety training and guidance, with the hope that this will provide staff with knowledge and skills that can create safer venues.
The scheme is part of a wider council strategy to promote safety on nights out called ‘Hackney Nights’.
Hackney councillor Susan Fajana-Thomas said: “I think women and girls feel safe to go out in Hackney now.
“The Hackney Nights scheme is a one-of-a-kind project and something I believe we are the first borough to do in London.
“It’s about Hackney being safe for all, free of fear of crime and harassment.”
Venues that successfully gain the accreditation will get a 30% reduction in their late night levy fees.
The fees, brought in by the council as a part of their coronavirus recovery plan affect businesses authorised to sell alcohol between midnight and six am on one or more days in a year.
The fee goes towards managing the costs of the late night economy, including things such as funding more police patrols across the borough and funding the Hackney Nights safety program.
Earlier this year, the program was trialled in a pilot scheme, with successful venues being presented with their accreditation in a special ceremony.
Councillor Fajana-Thomas said venues that took part in the pilot scheme have seen more people attending their premises.
The scheme is also aligned with Hackney Council’s commitment to ending violence against women and girls by ensuring that every venue that takes part in the program also signs up to the Women’s Safety Charter.
The Women’s Safety Charter works to help women in London feel safer at night.
Hackney Council are also working on tackling this in other areas, such as engaging with young boys in schools to teach them about harassment and to help them call out bad behaviour.
Venues that are interested in signing up for the scheme can sign up here.
Featured image credit: Hackney Council