This ground-breaking initiative, called Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI), brings together the guidance, standards and advice that licensed premises need to meet the requirements of Responsible Authorities in England and Wales.
In doing so, using Licensing SAVI will go a long way towards demonstrating compliance with the Licensing Act 2003 and promoting the four Licensing Objectives, which are:
- Prevention of Public Nuisance
- Prevention of Crime and Disorder
- Protection of Children from Harm
- Public Safety.
Developed at the request of the Home Office and backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), Licensing SAVI seeks to reduce the risk of crime, help raise standards in licensed premises, such as bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants, and provide consistent licensing information.
Licensing SAVI is also being supported by Project Servator, a police-led scheme to work with local communities to encourage vigilance and reporting of suspicious behaviour to deter terrorist attacks.
Conveniently available in an online self-assessment, Licensing SAVI provides definitive information on effective management practices and operational security as well as some practical examples, which some licensed premises may not have considered before. Additionally, it includes COVID-19 guidance and advice.
Providing personalised written advice and recommendations, Licensing SAVI is confidential to licensees but can be shared with the Responsible Authorities. This is the first time this information has been pulled together in one place.
Venues that complete the self-assessment will receive a Star-Rating (from 1 to a maximum of 5). Licensees can then apply for Licensing SAVI Accreditation and an Award, which will show their Star-Rating and can be displayed at their premises showing the efforts undertaken to enhance safety and used for general marketing purposes.
Licensing SAVI’s benefits for owners, operators and managers of licensed premises include:
- having all the key information in one convenient place, including Covid-19 guidance and advice
- a heads-up on the expectations of Responsible Authorities
- saving time and money by reducing the need to arrange separate meetings with Responsible Authorities to find out what they require
- reducing potential areas of contention between licensees and Responsible Authorities because of its standardised advice, guidance and recommendations
- several new and improved security standards, which have been developed to address emerging criminal activity
- helping prioritise improvement and build upon areas of existing good practice to further raise safety and security standards to become more successful and profitable
- assisting with a Licensing Act Application and future refurbishments to ensure the highest levels of safety and security are achieved
- providing advice and guidance to develop a comprehensive staff training package.
Licensing SAVI will be rolled-out on a managed basis and will follow Police CPI presentations to individual police forces and local authorities within the respective force areas.
One of the key factors that differentiates Licensing SAVI is that it has been devised and developed by the Police Service via Police CPI, which works closely with Local Authorities throughout the UK to reduce crime and the fear of crime. As such, Licensing SAVI is uniquely placed to deliver a joined-up and consistent approach to creating safe and secure licensed premises across England and Wales.
Licensing SAVI’s Business Manager is Mark Morgan, a former Merseyside Police Superintendent. Mark led the Police Licensing Team for Liverpool and was a member of the working party which achieved the City’s Purple Flag Award. Mark retired in August 2020 as Head of Response Policing for Merseyside after a 30-year police career and was appointed to work with Police CPI the same month.
Mark said: “I believe Licensing SAVI is a major milestone for the licensing industry in England and Wales and will help provide safe and secure venues for staff, customers and the local communities. We have worked with licensed premises throughout the development of Licensing SAVI to ensure the self-assessment is the very best it can be.
“I passionately believe that Licensing SAVI will help licensed premises from start-up businesses to established operators, from single independent premises to groups of venues, and from country pubs to large city nightclubs.
“Licensing SAVI gives licensees a heads-up on the expectations of the Responsible Authorities. This is the first time all the licensing information has been pulled together into one single on-line source – avoiding the need for licensed premises to find out from different organisations what they are required to do to comply with the Licensing Act 2003 and promote the Licensing Objectives.”
Mark explained its launch is timely because it can become part of a business recovery plan as licensed premises prepare to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
“Licensed venues are likely to need to recruit new staff, reskill new and existing staff who may have been furloughed, and revisit their business plans for what could be a significant demand from customers of all ages keen to enjoy themselves, including young people who turned 18 during the last year and may have never visited a licensed venue before.”
Organisations involved in the development of Licensing SAVI include many authoritative sources well-versed with industry good practice.