Commissioner Henry with Charlotte Caulton-Scott (spokesperson for the Consent Coalition) and Max Hill QC (Director of Public Prosecutions)
Businesses across Nottingham have pledged to do more to protect women and girls in their premises as part of a pioneering scheme launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry.
The Safe Space Pledge – the first in the UK to be included as part of the Best Bar None accreditation - was unveiled at a special event in Nottingham last night attended by Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales.
The scheme, developed by Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) in conjunction with the Consent Coalition, invites bars, pubs, clubs and other night-time economy businesses in Nottingham to make a voluntary pledge to demonstrate their commitment to improving the safety and experiences of women and girls within their premises.
It is the first time in the UK a city has included such a pledge as part of the Best Bar None accreditation scheme – a nationwide initiative that aims to recognise and reward responsible night-time economy premises.
It means venues across the City who want to become part of the Best Bar None scheme will now be measured on their ability to meet strict criteria to protect women and girls from harm and reduce vulnerability as part of the pledge.
Last night’s event, held at Nottingham’s Cosy Club, celebrated the success of the Safety of Women at Night (SWAN) project and brought together licensees, business leaders, transport managers, charities and Nottingham City Council safety leads in recognition of their contribution of their efforts to protect women and girls.
Commissioner Henry said: “It was an absolute honour to welcome Max Hill QC to Nottingham for the launch of the Safe Space Pledge.
“This is a huge milestone for Nottingham. Nowhere else in the country has a city included such a pledge in the Best Bar None Scheme and this makes me incredibly proud.
“Creating a safe night-time economy is in everybody’s interests and it has been remarkable to see partners pulling together over the past five months to deliver this vital safety project with some very bright, bold and brazen messaging.
“The safety of women and girls is a top priority and I believe we have already made great strides towards improving this. Nottingham is a safe and vibrant city to live and visit and we are determined to keep it that way. Women and girls deserve to live confidently and without fear and this project is just the start of what will be a long journey to prevent and reduce violence in all its forms.”
Alex Flint, CEO of Nottingham BID added: “Nottingham is an extremely welcoming and friendly city and in keeping with this we want to send out a clear message that violence against women and girls is not tolerated in Nottingham city centre and that measures have been put in place to reduce the vulnerability of women visiting the city’s night time economy.”
Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions said: ‘’Sexual consent is such an important issue, it is wonderful to see the topic displayed in such a public way and I hope it will get people talking.
‘’Education is without a doubt one of the most vital ways to change the culture and challenge dangerous behaviour. The CPS is delighted to be able to form part of this exciting project and be part of the conversation.”
Commissioner Henry and partners have invested almost £300k into safety measures to reduce the opportunity for violence, especially against women and girls.
The delivery of bespoke Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) bystander training for staff in hospitality venues and transport companies provided by specialist charity Equation
The expansion of safety campaigns including Help a Friend and the Consent Coalition’s ‘A-Z of Consent’ to be featured across double decker buses and a tram
The development of a safe space in the city centre at weekends where women can access urgent help and medical attention
Additional protection through Police Nights of Action on the tram network in the city
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Consent Coalition is a group of organisations within Nottingham which are working together to raise awareness of the importance of consent and to banish myths about rape and sexual violence. The organisation, which is supported by a host of partners including Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, also aims to help victims access and support and report sexual violence. For more information visit: https://nottssvss.org.uk/consent-coalition/
The Nottingham BID is a not for profit company that is privately funded by its members, who pay a percentage of their rateable value. Its members are businesses and organisations in the retail, leisure, office and education sectors within a defined BID Zone in Nottingham city centre. With over 800 members and an annual income of over £1 million per year, Nottingham BID is one of the largest BIDs in the country.
Posted on Wednesday 23rd March 2022