Westminster City Council is inviting organisations and businesses to come forward and become a Safe Haven.
As part of a wider package to address the safety of women at night, whether working, visiting or living in Westminster, the Council is promoting a network of Safe Havens across the city, underpinned by training and accreditation for businesses and their famous Night Stars scheme.
Safe Havens are spaces that support vulnerable women and girls at night, by providing a secure environment in which they take a short break, to charge their phone, organise a taxi or have a drink of water – and from which they can safely continue their journey home.
To become a Safe Haven businesses or organisations should have the following facilities:
- Minimum of two staff during operating hours – preferably one female with at least one member to be SIA or equivalent trained. If no women is present, other measures to ensure a safe space for women should be in place.
- Access to water, either bottled or available via a tap using disposable cups.
- Pen and paper.
- Access to a telephone to make calls to the emergency services, a relevant helpline, a relative, friend or transport provider.
- Working CCTV of internal sanctuary area.
- Toilets available for those seeking help.
- First aid kit and at least one member of staff who is a qualified first aider, or has received dedicated training associated with the operation of a Safe Haven.
- Charging points and cables to enable the charging of different models of mobile phones.
- Lockable door to provide a safe space for staff and those using the sanctuary.
- Suitable seating for those attending the Safe Haven, in an area separate from the general public.
- Public liability insurance that provides sufficient cover for the use of the building for this purpose. The Council have also provided the following clarification and support: We are aware under public liability not all insurers cover under 18’s, if you are interested in becoming a Safe Haven but have this challenge, you are still eligible to apply to become a Safe Haven. Westminster City Council will then highlight the age group you do cater for as a Safe Haven via their channels. We ask businesses to make insurers aware of their interest in becoming a Safe Haven and if required, conduct a risk assessment. The Council is able to support risk assessments, if insurers cannot provide one but require for one to take place.
Safe Haven Operations
Businesses or organisations should have able to:
- Display branded signage (available from the Council) for a registered Safe Haven on the windows or doors so the premises can be clearly identified by individuals seeking the use of the Haven.
- Keep a registration log (available from the Council) to record all visitors who attend the Safe Haven.
- Adopt a clear written procedure for escalating those who need medical and emergency services assistance.
- Have available contact information for key services, including domestic and sexual abuse helplines for both women and men, Samaritans, Crimestoppers, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Victim Support, NHS and the Police.
As a minimum businesses or organisations should have in place:
- First Aid trained (refreshed yearly) staff. Check the BID’s training pages for help we can provide on training.
- Recognised vulnerability training included as part of staff induction for those working overnight.
Support and Promotion
Venues that are accredited Safe Havens will receive support from the Council – full details can be accessed here.
Becoming a Safe Haven
To know more about becoming a Safe Haven, please fill out this form and Westminster Council will be in touch. All applicants will be asked to confirm they meet the criteria listed on the Council website. If an applicant does not meet certain criteria, they will be asked to suggest mitigating measures that achieve the same result – the Council may accept these alternative measures, although reserves the right to refuse to accredit a venue as a Safe Haven.
Marble Arch London BID will help support and promote any Safe Haven venues within our BID footprint.