Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) has launched The Safe Space Pledge, a new initiative to send a clear message to anyone who lives, works, studies or visits Nottingham that the safety of all women and girls is a priority.
The initiative was launched at a special event, held at The Cosy Club, to celebrate the recent Safety of Women at Night training programme that Nottingham BID and partners have rolled out to support businesses in the night-time economy.
The free training sessions are part of Nottingham’s partnership response to improving the safety of women and girls in Nottingham city centre and is funded by the Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner through the Home Office Safety of Women at Night fund.
The event was attended by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Max Hill QC who praised Nottingham for leading the way in the forward thinking work partners have carried out to make Nottingham a safer place at night.
At the celebration, businesses were asked to sign the Safe Space Pledge as a demonstration of their commitment to improve the safety and experience of women and girls within their premises.
The Safe Space is a voluntary pledge, which has been developed in partnership by Nottingham BID and the Consent Coalition to show a venue’s commitment to improve the safety of women and girls within their premises.
Activities that Nottingham BID is organising as part of the initiative include:
- Free training and support for city centre businesses and their staff, designed to help them put appropriate policies in place, respond to, and support victims – both staff and customers.
- The provision of signage for businesses to help them promote the fact that they are a Safe Space venue as well as material that will be available for people in city centre venues to pick up explaining what Safe Space is about.
Nottingham is leading the way as the first city in the UK to include the pledge as part of the local Best Bar None accreditation – a scheme that aims to improve standards in the evening and night time economy. Under the heading of ‘Vulnerability Management and the Safety of Women at Night’, venues will be asked to demonstrate how they are meeting the different aspects of the pledge.
Alex Flint, CEO of Nottingham BID said: “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 the city centre and that measures have been put in place to reduce the vulnerability of women visiting the city’s night time economy.”
On behalf of the Consent Coalition, Louise Graham, Sexual Violence Lead at Nottinghamshire Crime and Drugs Partnership said: “All of the organisations that make up the Consent Coalition work to promote positive messages around consent and challenge unacceptable attitudes and behaviours. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Nottingham BID and Best Bar None Nottingham on the Safe Spaces Pledge and are proud that venues have signed up so readily to this scheme.
“The fact that the pledge has been made part of the Best Bar None Nottingham accreditation shows a real and lasting commitment to creating a safer environment for women and girls in our city. Nottingham has often been shown to lead the way on issues affecting women’s safety. We believe women should expect to feel safe at all times of the day and night. We hope that this work inspires other areas to set up similar schemes in the cities and towns belonging to them’.
: “Creating a safe night-time economy is in everybody’s interests and I am proud of the way all partners have pulled 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. The launch of the landmark Safe Space Pledge in the City is another example of the commitment and tenacity of our partners without whom this project would not have been possible.
“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.”