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Reducing potential of terrorism at your pub

Top Tips - useful guidelines to follow on reducing violence at licensed premises

In light of the recent ‘severe risk’ status and terrorist attacks in the UK, most, if not all operators of licenced premises are keen to do all they can to ensure that their customers, staff, innocent people and property are protected. Although absolute security is impossible, there are some things that operators of licensed venues can do to reduce the risk of damage, injury or even death.
The majority of premises licences issued under the Licensing Act 2003 (the Act), will include in the operating schedule, measures which will promote the prevention of crime and disorder. Compliance with licence conditions is obligatory as breaches can result in a Review of the Premises Licence under section 51 or prosecutions under section 136 of the Act.

Below are a few pointers to how the risk of violence at a licensed premises can be reduced.

  • Most Premises Licences have conditions requiring the premises to have a CCTV system. Ensuring security cameras are regularly maintained and working helps in not only the prevention but also the detection of crime.
  • Again some premises licences require a dispersal policy to be in place. Dispersal and operating a safe capacity should be part of your risk assessment. However, any policy’s effectiveness is dependant on how clearly it is communicated.
  • The employment of an efficient door team to conduct thorough searches, assess the public and to read situations is key. Many bars, pubs and clubs will have a door staff requirement as a condition on their licence.
  • It is important that everyone is vigilant. The ability to quickly identify suspicious items or suspicious behaviour can prevent an incident. People accessing private areas, making notes, taking photographs or videos of cctv or premises security must be viewed with suspicion. Habitual checking of deliveries and searching a premises before it opens and after closing could obviously save lives.
  • Producing and communicating the details of a risk assessment, in particular for high profile events, will enhance the effectiveness of a premises’ security and therefore instil in staff and public confidence in a premises’ security measures.

Make sure that all security equipment is regularly checked and updated. There is no point in having, for example, a first aid kit lacking in essentials.

If there are any uncertainties, take the option of seeking advice from experts or from the Police.

A recent and very helpful Government publication, ‘Prevention of terrorism in Crowded Places Guidance’ can be found on the Government’s website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crowded-places-guidance. This advises on security in the night time economy, at cinemas, theatres, stadia and arenas, hotels, restaurants and at major events.

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