Reducing Violence in the Night Time Economy
Engaging with the Night Time Economy Community: Finding Ways to Enhance Violence Reduction Across Leicester City
This project documented the outcome of a series of consultations with the night time economy community in Leicester city. Its focus was to explore how this community and its stakeholders views and responds to the incidence of violent crime. The findings have highlighted priorities to assist with violence reduction in the night time economy and broadly enhance harm reduction associated with alcohol consumption. The report captures what Leicester city is doing well and highlights additional areas to enhance good practice for all stakeholders.
A project event fedback the key findings of the consultation that took place in 2012 with a range of stakeholders from the night time community in Leicester city. Attendees had opportunity to respond a series of suggestions that recommend further action to enhance violence reduction across the night time community.
- Maintaining standards across the night time economy is achieved through compliance with regulations and good practice. Balancing safety and working within resources and creating a healthy economy can be a challenge. There is a strong desire to maintain and extend standards. Barriers to this included lack of understanding about other services, working relationships, ability to invest in better practice and access to support.
- Good practice includes: coordinated forum through Citywatch to provide advice and their radio service, licensee practices within venues to maintain compliance with Licensing Act, the city's shared agreement not to sell alcohol cheaply, designing in environmental features to keep night time visitors calm in venues, use of experienced and legitimate door supervisors, regulation of the security industry, joint local partnership between licensing and specialist licensing officers, focused policing- licensing officers and dedicated night time economy responsive teams, high visibility policing in hot spots, joint police and paramedic mobile unit- POLAMB, availability of voluntary services.
- Access and availability of training is limited across the city for all stakeholders. Despite training being available, this is uncoordinated and lacks consolidation. There is a desire for more frequent and diverse training to enhance knowledge and practice.
- The supply of alcohol across the city that exacerbates drunkenness and disorder has brought about a stigmatization of the industry and for licensees and door supervisors this has meant they are unable to promote their professionalism more extensively. There is evidence to support that licensees and door supervisors do accept a duty of care for their customers but it was felt this was not widespread or acknowledged by other stakeholders.
- Dealing with difficult situations as a result of drunkenness is a pressure point for all stakeholders. Stakeholders are routinely subjected to abuse (verbal and physical) from night time visitors. Stakeholders who used the Citywatch radio felt that this facility should be used more to help tackle these issues and help other services and visitors to keep safe.
- There is some frustration about the ways in which offenders of crime and anti-social behaviour are dealt with. Confidence in the Section 27 disposal (dispersal order) is limited.
- All stakeholders expressed some misunderstandings about what other services can do. As a result disproportionate expectations of services have emerged. Achieving trust and sound working relationships between services is limited by lack of understanding, negative experiences of services, stigma and ability to forge relationships based on time and resources.
- The night time economy in Leicester is diverse in terms of places (including types of venues), people and behaviour. Open and transparent communication and targeting the right resources to the right places at the right time can enhance this. Problems arise when crowds are able to gather, transport remains limited, extended availability of alcohol (including off-licenses), litter is allowed to gather, response times are delayed by accessibility issues and the availability of food is limited.
- Competing agendas between stakeholders is a barrier to enhancing working relationships and subsequent partnerships. Constraints of resources were identified as a significant barrier.
- Licensees, bar staff and door supervisors- drinks refusal techniques, dealing with conflict, personal protection, health and safety, ID checking, compliance with Licensing Act, career development packages, Citywatch radio training, understanding violence.
- Dedicated policing teams- mentoring and shadowing of experienced police officers, shadowing of licensing enforcement, understanding disposals in the night time economy, learning about other stakeholders' practice such as shadowing door supervisors.
- Clinical and voluntary sectors- personal protection including refreshers, dealing with conflict, mediation skills, Citywatch radio training.
- Continuing development of public services training- train stakeholders on night time economy specific issues i.e. developing nursing roles to become night time economy specialists.
The project was led by Dr Victoria Knight and was commissioned by Safer Leicester Partnership.
The full project report is available here.