National Pubwatch joins forces with Best Bar None to offer help to independent licensees and operators to make their venues safe

Published: August 26, 2021 6:45 am

National Pubwatch is working in partnership with Best Bar None, the Home Office backed accreditation scheme for licensed premises, to support licensees and independent operators to reduce alcohol-related crime and meet their obligations under the Licensing Act.

National Pubwatch, the voluntary organisation, which supports over 800 pubwatches across the UK, works to promote safe, secure and social drinking environments in all licensed premises throughout the UK.

With restrictions relaxed and the late-night market now reopened after being closed for over 18-months due to Covid-19 restrictions, the two organisations have collaborated to help operators ensure that they are running safe venues.

Under the Licensing Act operators must meet the four licensing objects in the prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

One way to ensure that each premises can demonstrate they meet these requirements is to have updated policies and procedures in place.

National Pubwatch and Best Bar None have produced tools to improve the operation and standards of venues with a range of free downloadable policies and procedures documentation that can be adjusted to each business. The documentation can be used by operators as evidence of their due diligence in upholding the licensing objectives and also assist them in achieving Best Bar None accreditation.

There are to be 18 updated policies and procedures, which are free to download for operators on both the National Pubwatch and Best Bar None websites. These include a range of topics from safeguarding vulnerable persons, Challenge 21/25, crime and disorder, drugs, searching and overcrowding.

National Pubwatch chairman Steve Baker OBE, said: “It is important as the market has reopened that publicans and operators continue to meet their obligations to ensure premises are safe. Having policies and procedures in place are important to demonstrate that the venue is taking its responsibilities seriously.

“It can be quite daunting and time consuming to develop such policies, these will provide a template to use and adapt to the local context.

“We look forward to working closely with Best Bar None to help venues be safe and to improve standards across the sector.”

Best Bar None chairman Lord Smith of Hindhead CBE, said: “Best Bar None recognises the responsible management of licensed premises, and robust policies and procedures are a core requirement to become accredited.

“A fundamental aim of the scheme is to support premises to continually improve standards. With the recent refresh of the Best Bar None accreditation, we took the opportunity to update our template policies, tools and resources and are delighted to be rolling these out with the support of our partners, National Pubwatch.”

National Pubwatch recently warned licensees to ensure staff are fully trained to support vulnerable customers or face losing their reputation as safe and secure venues.

In response it created a training film called Supporting Vulnerable People, which takes frontline staff through a variety of scenarios on how to ensure the safety of customers.