Bar staff call on pubs and clubs to sign safety charter

28 February 2020

Bar staff are calling on the local night time economy to join the groundswell of support for the Women’s Night Safety Charter campaign.

The call comes after a bar tender was attacked on her way home from a late night shift as she walked to Kilburn tube station. She managed to fight off her attacker and raise the alarm, but the experience has left her badly shaken and angry.

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, works for the North London Tavern in Kilburn and is working with the Police to catch the offender.

She explained: “He grabbed me from behind and put his hand over my mouth, but somehow I managed to wriggle free and scream at the top of my voice.

“Luckily, a resident heard me and came out to see what was going on which frightened him off.

“Women should be able to feel safe, it was a horrible experience and I really don’t want anyone else to go through it.”

The pub is now one of many across Kilburn and Harlesden that has signed up to the campaign which offers free training to bar staff on how to keep female customers and staff safe at night.

Awareness is being ramped up in time for Kilburn’s mile-long street party on July 11, which is part of the wider London Borough of Culture 2020 celebration #Brent2020

Brent Council is supporting licensees with free training on how to keep women safe while they’re enjoying the local night life, whether they’re staff or customers.

Brent Council’s Chief Executive, Carolyn Downs, is personally championing the campaign.

She said: “I am extremely saddened to hear of this woman’s experience and she is extremely brave coming forward to tell her story - thank goodness she managed to struggle free.

“We will do everything we can to ensure that businesses can look out for their female customers and staff and are sufficiently trained to protect and proactively identify issues within their venues and deal with them appropriately.

“I would appeal to all pubs and clubs to sign up and show a sense of solidarity that we care about the safety of women while they’re out enjoying our vibrant town centres and most importantly that they are supported to get home safe and sound.

“Women’s safety is a key concern for us as we enter a very busy and exciting time for our borough. Ensuring women have the confidence to enjoy the celebrations is essential if Brent wants to host important events like this in the future.”

Councillor Tom Miller, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, urged all licensees to get involved.

He said: “Brent is set to benefit massively from the London Borough of Culture 2020 status and that means many more visitors spending money here which is great for the economy.

“But we also have a responsibility to keep everyone safe at night and our aim with this campaign is to keep women feeling as safe as possible on a night out and help them feel confident about fully engaging with the celebrations.”

To sign up for the free training email:  community.safety@brent.gov.uk

More information on the Women’s Night Safety Charter can be found: Women’s Night Safety Charter, or alternatively: the Mayor’s website.

Once signed up, as well as a free training session, businesses will receive a window sticker which recognises that they have signed up to the Charter and that they take women’s safety seriously.

Photograph:

Councillor Tom Miller, Brent Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, pictured with bar staff outside the North London Tavern in Kilburn.