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Managing Safety in Pubs

A very small minority of people may resort to violence in certain situations which can occur for any number of reasons. This guide seeks to identify significant factors which might trigger violence in any venue and sets out some of the preventative measures that can be taken to minimise the risk.

The pub, club and bar sector is vibrant, dynamic and continually changing to meet the needs and aspirations of its customers. The broad range of outlets, ranging from small traditional pubs, to large pub restaurants, hotels and nightclubs, play a vital role in the hospitality and leisure sector of the UK economy. Most venues trade to different customer requirements and occasions at different times of the week and throughout the day.

The industry operates in a highly regulated environment and through the licensing objectives must ensure the responsible operation of its premises at all times for customers, staff and the local community. A key priority of the industry is to ensure that both customers and staff feel secure, comfortable and safe in all licensed premises. There is also a duty of care to customers under health and safety law.

Unfortunately human nature dictates that there is a very small minority of people who have a propensity to resort to violence in certain situations or act in a way that elicits violence in others, which can occur in, or in the vicinity of, licensed premises.

Regrettably incidences of violence do sometimes occur, but most disturbances or incidents are defused quickly and professionally by staff. In order to mitigate the menace of some individuals’ behaviour towards staff or other customers, it is important that a full assessment of the risks from intentional violence is undertaken.

This guide seeks to set out the salient factors to be considered and to identify preventative measures that can be taken where appropriate. The risk assessment should be reviewed on a regular basis, particularly in the light of any incidents that do occur, and in any event to ensure that the assessment is kept up to date.

The guide may also be used when preparing an operating schedule for a licence application or variation.


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