Charter to ensure women's safety at night across London

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

New guidance: London-wide women's night safety charter in the making
New guidance: London-wide women's night safety charter in the making

Related tags: Crime

A new London-wide charter aimed at reducing the risk of crime against women on a night out will be unveiled next year, the capital’s night czar has revealed. 

Pubs, bars and operators will be encouraged to sign up to the guidance, which will encourage venues to commit to ensuring women leave premises safely, within the next year. 

The work builds on Southwark’s Council’s Women’s Safety Charter, to which 62 venues have signed.

Training for front-of-house staff and posters to discourage harassment are expected to be among the potential measures outlined in the new charter, which was announced ahead of London’s first Women’s Night Safety Summit on Monday (24 July).

Charter basis

Feedback and recommendations from the event – which is being hosted by people including Valerie Shawcross, deputy mayor for transport; and Joan Smith, chair of the mayor’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) board; and attended by more than 100 people from women’s groups, charities, businesses, councils, transport organisations and the police – will also help form the basis of charter, the night czar’s office said.

“Ensuring London is safe and welcome at night is one of the mayor’s top priorities, and as the capital becomes a truly 24-hour city, we need to embed women’s safety into our planning from the beginning,” said Lamé.

“Our incredible array of bars, clubs and venues make London one of the world’s most vibrant cities after dark, but we all need to work together to make the conversation about our nightlife a positive one, and ensure that women feel confident that they can enjoy it safely.

"By helping to create the new charter, venues, operators and businesses can do their bit to help make sure women feel safe, whether they’re on the Tube, at work, or on the dance floor.”

Partnership working 

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nichols said: “It is important that our venues remain friendly and welcoming places for all customers and the women’s night safety charter is another great example of a mutually beneficial partnership between authorities and eating and drinking-out venues.

“The sector is capable of achieving great things if we have the support of decision-makers at local and national levels, and nowhere is that more important than when it comes to safety.”

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “The safety of customers is of the utmost concern to pub owners and operators. We work closely with our members to ensure that members of staff are in receipt of the right training and education to make sure people can feel safe and welcome in their pubs.

"I would welcome the opportunity to work with the night czar in identifying any further areas where guidance for venues and operators could be of use.”

Sophie Linden, deputy mayor for policing and crime, added: “London is one of the safest cities in the world to be a woman, but we want to make it even safer. By bringing partners together from across policing, transport and our capital’s night-time economy, we can develop a joined-up approach that helps ensure women are safe wherever they are in the evening and encourages them to report harassment or crime if it does happen.

"The first London-wide women’s night safety charter is a significant step forward in changing perceptions of the safety of London at night and encouraging women to make the most of everything the capital has to offer.”

The news comes in the same month that the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan urged pubcos to sign up to a new charter aimed at safeguarding LGBT+ venues in the city, after research revealed they had more than halved in the past decade.

Related topics: Training

Related news