Survey reveals need for safer pubs, bars and restaurants

October 4, 2021


Three out of four adults are calling for improved safety procedures in bars, pubs and nightclubs following the recent national publicity around the safety of women and girls, according to a YouGov survey.

With safety defined as ‘where efforts have been made to prevent crime, reduce harm and where staff will support you if you are feeling vulnerable’, 5,050 adults in England aged 18-45, were asked whether they agreed with the statement that ‘recent publicity around the safety of women and girls has made it more important for licensed premises to improve their safety procedures’.

A total of 79% of adults said they want safety improvements in nightclubs whilst 76% want improvements in bars and clubs. The call for safety improvements extended to other licensed premises included in the survey with between 52-65% of adults wanting improvements in stadiums, arenas, hotels, guest houses, restaurants, theatres and sports and social clubs.

Across all licensed premises, the support for improved safety in venues is greatest amongst women. In nightclubs, 83% of women want improved safety compared to 75% of men. In bars and clubs the percentage point difference is greater with 81% of women wanting safety improvements compared to 70% of men. In restaurants, 64% of women want safety improvements – 14 percentage points ahead of men.

The YouGov survey of adults, who would visit at least one licensed premises in a six-month period, was carried out between 16 August – 5 September.

It also found that adults feel significantly less safe in licensed premises now than they did prior to the first national lockdown in March 2020. The fall in feeling safe is consistent across all licensed premises in the survey but is largest in nightclubs – down from 81% pre-pandemic to 48% today and bars and clubs from 93% to 64%. The YouGov research also found that a police safety award may benefit all the different types of licensed premises to some extent, with 25% of adults reporting being more likely to visit bars and pubs that had received the award. The figures for nightclubs (24%) and stadiums and arenas (19%) are also noteworthy given the award is still in its nascent stages. Once again, these numbers are largely highest among women, at 28%, 27%, and 22% respectively.

Of those who deem the award important when it comes to the safety features appreciated in licensed venues, up to 50% say they would therefore be more likely to visit a bar or pub that had received a police award – and 42% of the same group would be more likely to visit a nightclub and 38% a stadium or arena. Even amongst those who deem the award unimportant, 12-16% would be more likely to visit stadiums and arenas, bars and pubs, and nightclubs if they were to be granted the award.

The survey was commissioned by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned organisation, which works alongside the Police Service to deter and reduce crime. One of Police CPI’s latest initiatives is Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI), which seeks to improve safety and security in licensed premises. Developed at the request of the Home Office, Licensing SAVI is being supported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Project Servator, which seeks to deter terrorist attacks in public places.

Licensing SAVI brings together for the first time all the information that licensees need to meet the requirements of police and council licensing teams, comply with the Licensing Act 2003 and promote the four Licensing Objectives: Prevention of Public Nuisance, Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Protection of Children from Harm and Public Safety.

To find out more information about Licensing SAVI, visit:  

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