Pledge to improve women’s safety at night in London

23 July 2018
  • Night Czar Amy Lamé and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Sophie Linden call on organisations, businesses and councils to join the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter
  • Charter sets out seven-point pledge to help ensure women in the capital are safe at night
  • First signatories include Live Nation UK, Ministry of Sound, UK Music, Drinkaware, the O2, Imkaan, Portman Group and Lambeth Council

Organisations across London are being urged to pledge their support and help ensure women stay safe at night by signing up to the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter.

Night Czar, Amy Lamé, and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, are calling on councils, businesses, venues and other organisations to get behind the charter, at a night safety summit today at City Hall.  The summit, called Reclaim the Night, will bring together representatives from policing, transport, charities and the night-time economy to reaffirm their commitment to improving safety at night.

The Mayor’s charter is the first of its kind covering the entire capital and sets out guidance for venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses to improve safety at night for women. This includes better training of staff, encouraging the reporting of harassment, and ensuring public spaces are safe.

Live Nation UK, Ministry of Sound, UK Music, Drinkaware, the O2, Portman Group, Lambeth Council, the Met and TfL are among those who have already signed up to the charter and pledged to take action to help lower the risk of crime against women when they are working or enjoying a night out.

The Women’s Night Safety Charter is part of the Mayor’s strategy to tackle violence against women and girls. It includes seven key pledges to improve women’s safety and perception of safety at night.

The commitments – based on the pillars of reporting, responding, taking responsibility and redesigning public spaces – are:

•          Nominate a champion in your organisation who actively promotes women’s night safety

•          Demonstrate to staff and customers that your organisation takes women’s safety at night seriously, for example through a communications campaign

•          Tell staff what to do if they experience harassment when working, going out or travelling

•          Encourage reporting by victims and bystanders as part of your communications campaign

•          Train staff to ensure that all women who report are believed

•          Train staff to ensure that all reports are recorded and responded to

•          Design your public spaces and work places to make them safer for women at night

Earlier this year, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published his strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, with a record investment of £44m up to 2020. The wide-ranging strategy includes measures of prevention, tackling perpetrators, and protection and support for victims, all as part of Sadiq’s efforts to make London the safest city in the world for women and girls.

Night Czar, Amy Lamé said: “We’re determined to make London the safest and most welcoming city in the world. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the safety of women at night and through the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter we’re helping to provide a supportive environment for those working, travelling or enjoying our capital at night. Through this, we can make a real difference to help women make the most of everything our capital has to offer.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden said: “London is one of the safest cities in the world but we know that more can be done to improve safety for women at night. We’re helping venues and councils to take some simple, but important, steps to help women know that nowhere is off limits to them.”

Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council and co-chair of the VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Board, said: “We take the safety of women at night incredibly seriously and think it’s vital that we do all we can to ensure a safe environment for women. We’re proud to be one of the first signatories of the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter and are committed to delivering these important pledges to make Lambeth even more welcoming at night.”

Cllr Radha Burgess, Southwark Council, said: “After we pioneered the Women's Safety Charter in Southwark, it's great to see Sadiq Khan taking it London-wide. Sadly, too many women still don’t feel safe when out at night. This is a really positive step towards reducing harassment against women and girls in the night time economy; everyone should be able to have a safe night out.”

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality CEO and chair of the Night Time Commission, said: “It is vital that the late-night sector, and the entire hospitality industry, is a welcoming and inclusive environment in which customers feel safe. We are, as a sector, working hard to ensure that customers are able to visit our venues and enjoy themselves without worry. The Women’s Night Safety Charter is a fantastic initiative and UKHospitality is very happy to support it.”

Rommel Moseley, Business Development & Partnerships Director at Drinkaware, said: “Drinkaware is proud to be one of the first signatories to the Women’s Night Safety Charter and to join Night Czar, Amy Lamé, and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, in calling for more organisations to join up. We all have a responsibility to tackle the status quo and there is much more work to be done to stop sexual harassment. No one should be having to deal with unwanted sexual advances, harassment or intimidation and we are delighted to be adding our name and voice to efforts to tackle it.”

Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: “Whether it’s care workers, taxi drivers or bar staff, we all depend on the UK’s late-night workforce. Employers must ensure that women who work late can get on with the job safely and happily. That’s why the TUC has signed up to the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter. I hope we’ll be joined be lots more employers from across London. Every woman should feel safe and protected at work, whatever her job or shift pattern.”

Dan Cory, General Manager at Ministry of Sound, said: “Ministry of Sound has always been committed to providing an enjoyable and safe night out for all our customers. As such we are adding our name to the Women’s Night Safety Charter, working closely with the police, transport and others in the night-time economy to commit to the pledge, share best practice and training to all our staff, to ensure that London is a safe place for women at night.”

Rita King, Portman Group Local Partnerships Director, said: “We are delighted to add our support to the Women’s Night Safety Charter to create a safe, vibrant and inclusive London for all.  Every night, Local Alcohol Partnership schemes help visitors and Londoners have an enjoyable and safe night out and we’d love to see this Charter roll out in all major cities across the UK.”

Sarah Walker, Programme Manager, Purple Flag/ENTE, said: “One of the key core agendas of the Purple Flag programme is around safety and care within the evening and night time economy (ENTE) with responsibilities for guardianship, customer care, staff working within the ENTE and concern for community health. The Women’s Night Safety Charter supports what the Purple Flag programme is achieving and works alongside the standards that we have in place. Purple Flag will be signing the pledge to support and promote the charter within its existing programme to ensure women feel safe at night.

This evening’s summit will include a workshop on designing safe public spaces at night led by Dr Ellie Cosgrave, Director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory and Lecturer in Urban Innovation. Designing safe public spaces is part of London’s commitment to the UN Women, Safe Cities and Public Spaces initiative.

Notes to editors

The publication of the London Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy was a commitment in the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan. It is published here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/our-priorities/tackling-violence-against-women-and-girls

The programmes run by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to tackle Violence Against Women and Crime since the Mayor took office will total at least £44m by 2019/20.

The Women’s Night Safety Charter is based on four pillars – report, respond, responsibility and redesign

Report:

*The GLA and MOPAC will continue to coordinate prominent, cross departmental campaigns to keep women safe at night, to prevent harassment, and encourage reporting

*All sectors to identify and encourage champions across the industry within businesses, local authorities and community groups that proactively promote women’s safety at night and support women to report

Respond:

*The licensed premises industry to have appropriately trained staff, who are proactive and vigilant around women’s safety at night. This includes a duty to capture information and report to the police where appropriate

*For every woman to be and feel believed when coming forward and for referrals to the VCS or other relevant support agencies to always be made where appropriate

Responsibility:

*London to promote campaigns that target and educate perpetrators to change behaviours, highlight examples of good practice and to encourage reporting, including by bystanders and third parties

*The GLA and MOPAC will work with industry champions to build an atmosphere of transparency and safety for women who work at night

Redesign:

*Empower women with the correct safety information and clear guidance to confidently use all public spaces

*Ensure that planning and the built environment factor in and support women’s safety at night, recognising good practice and existing campaigns across London and broaden them to cover all public spaces

The charter builds on the work done by Southwark Council to develop the Southwark Women’s Safety Charter

The first signatories are:

•          Featured Artists Coalition (FAC)

•          North Bank BID

•          The O2

•          Attitude is Everything

•          Aspers Casinos

•          DrinkAware

•          Purple Flag

•          UK Music

•          TfL

•          Vauxhall One

•          Ministry of Sound

•          EVAW

•          TUC

•          Portman Group

•          Retail of Alcohol Standards Group

•          NTIA

•          Met Police

•          Lambeth Council

•          Solace Women's Aid

•          Live Nation UK

•          UK Hospitality

•          Imkaan

 

Schemes including the Met’s Ask For Angela initiative in London bars and Transport for London’s Report It To Stop It campaign tackling sexual harassment on public transport are already doing great work to help keep women in the capital safe, and encourage the reporting of crime. The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative aims to reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing customers with a non-descript phrase they can use to gain assistance from staff members, in order to be separated from the company of someone with whom they feel unsafe due to that person’s actions, words or behaviour. The Report It To Stop It campaign encourages passengers to report unwanted sexual behaviour to the police.

Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces is one of UN Women’s Flagship Programming Initiatives which builds on its “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls” Global Programme, launched in November 2010, with leading women’s organisations, UN agencies, and more than 70 global and local partners. The programme will support national governments to address multiple targets and achieve multiple goals in order to achieve gender equality by 2030. It includes a focus on changing attitudes and behaviours to promote women’s and girls’ rights to enjoy public spaces free from violence

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