Westminster council has launched a night safety accreditation scheme for businesses and venues operating in the city between 6pm and 6am.
The scheme is part of Westminster City Council’s Night Safety programme and was made possible by a grant from the Home Office awarded to the council last year to combat sexual harassment and enhance women’s safety in the West End.
The accreditation uses an initial self-assessment framework, with businesses initially completing online questionnaires focusing on the types of safety and vulnerability training provided to staff, their own communication and treatment of victims, and how they respond to, record and report incidents of sexual harassment against customers and staff alike.
Businesses will receive a report with a score, and a toolkit of how to reach the standard if unsuccessful first time round. For those businesses being successfully accredited, they will receive a certificate that will last for 12 months, and can use the Westminster Night Safety Accreditation logo. After a year, businesses will then re-apply and seek re-accreditation, an important part of upholding the necessary standards.
The scheme will be monitored by the Council’s team of City Inspectors who will undertake spot checks on businesses troughout the year and ensure that standards of safety are being maintained to keep women safe in their premises at night.