Westminster City Council has set out as a Commitment within its City For All vision that it will:
"support the entertainment industry to develop a voluntary Westminster Standard which promotes responsible behaviour amongst licensees and sets the standard in terms of caring for the welfare of their patrons and being good neighbours."
The drive behind the Licensing Charter is to assist and protect people made vulnerable by alcohol within the Evening and Night Time Economy and encourage good licensing practice across the City which will be industry-led.
The Licensing Charter is based on 4 aims which are supported by a set of key principles.
- Premises better able to support vulnerable individuals in and around the premises.
- Reductions in associated anti-social behaviour, crime and emergency health issues.
- Evening and Night Time Economy support to grow responsibly.
- Improved working relationships between Council, Police and Industry and improved perception of the council amongst key operators.
- the initiative must be industry-led and voluntary for those that want to take part and yet, contribute to a demonstrable shift in how premises operate in an area.
- focused campaigns to inform those visiting licensed premises within Westminster on the risks associated with intoxication and drugs or other priority issues.
- improving support available for individuals who may be vulnerable as a result of intoxication, drugs or other issues in the Evening and Night Time Economy.
- operators have a responsibility to support patrons who may be vulnerable both inside and within the vicinity of the premises and should be recognised for doing so.
- premises should not fear having someone who is too drunk or otherwise vulnerable on the premises, provided the individual is being properly looked after.
Businesses and premises that adopt the Licensing Charter will agree to commit to developing effective partnership and implement initiatives that will deliver the charters aims.
These initiatives can be the adoption of business-led local partnership schemes such as Pubwatch, Best Bar None or any scheme specifically focused on reducing vulnerability. Premises will be encouraged to have policies on how to deal with people who may be vulnerable and suggested policies may be:
- the provision of free bottles and/or hot drinks to intoxicated vulnerable individuals.
- provide safe and secure phone charging opportunities for patrons.
- assisting people with reuniting with friends or safe transport home.
- staff engage in sign-posting to or calling in other services e.g Street Pastors, Police and Ambulance Service.
- large nightclubs and other appropriate venues could use trained 'Drinkaware Crew' to manage low level issues and improve safety.
- establish a safe space within the premises.
- information regularly given to customers on various topics.
- the development of a proactive, coordinated plan to diversify and promote the Evening and Night Time Economy in the area.
Premises are encouraged to be innovative and come up with new and interesting ways to deliver the Licensing Charter's aims.
How to sign up to the Licensing Charter
If you are interested in adopting or discussing the Licensing Charter in more detail, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.