48% of young women left by themselves on night out

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Safety first: Nightcap bosses Michael Toxvaerd and Sarah Willingham (credit: Nicky Johnston)
Safety first: Nightcap bosses Michael Toxvaerd and Sarah Willingham (credit: Nicky Johnston)

Related tags Cocktails Multi-site pub operators Nightcap Health and safety Social responsibility

Almost half of women (48%) aged between 18 and 30 have been left by themselves on a night out, research from bar operator Nightcap has revealed.

Nightcap, which operates 36 bars and restaurants across England and Wales mainly under its brands The Cocktail Club, Adventure Bar Group and Barrio, has launched Nightcap Safer Together​ today (31 March) to promote customer safety and security throughout all its venues and will encourage bar-goers to look out for each other.

Its research has discovered 43% of young people said that they had been intentionally or unintentionally left on their own in a bar or club, which broke down as 48% being female and 31% male.

More than half of people (53%) aged 18 to 30 said they had felt unsafe or uncomfortable on a night out; one quarter said they didn’t believe they would be able to tell the difference between someone who was drunk and someone who’d been spiked; and young people are calling for venues to make people feel safer by having safe waiting areas, phone charging sockets and better-trained staff.

Friends lost

Additionally, the survey found more than half of those questioned said they had lost their friends in a crowded venue and 33% said that their friends had left early.

Other reasons for losing contact include 47% of those questioned said that they couldn’t communicate with their friends (eg, phone battery died); 30% said they had left of their own accord; one quarter (25%) said their friend went home with somebody else or hooked up; and 24% said that they had had an argument with their friends.

As part of Nightcap Safer Together​, Nightcap is launching a charter that includes a pledge to provide extensive training to staff, which will focus on empowering staff to make sure everyone feels safe in Nightcap venues with specific training on vulnerability awareness, dispersal protocols and how to support victims of intoxication, violence, aggression, drugs and spiking.

The mandatory training will form part of all company inductions and training programmes for both internal team members and external security agencies that Nightcap work with.

Safer together

Nightcap founder and chief executive Sarah Willingham said: “This research shows that we are ‘safer together’ on nights out. We need to have each other’s backs and ensure we’re all looking out for each other.

“From our friends to the staff in our bars, we must do all we can to make sure that people feel safe and are as safe as they can be. It’s so important to me the women and men in our bars feel that they can let go and have a great night out in a safe environment.”

Willingham, who won the coveted Business Leader of The Year award​ at The Publican Awards on Wednesday 29 March, continued: “At Nightcap, we are training all our staff and are committed to making sure that everyone feels safe with our new charter. Whether it’s needing a safe place to report anything that has made you feel uncomfortable, taking time out or simply charging your phone so you can send that all important ‘I’m home safe’ message, we will have your back.”

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