Two out of three adults want improved safety measures in hotels and guest houses following recent national publicity around the safety of women and girls, a YouGov survey has found.
A total of 64% of adults want safety improvements in hotels and guest houses with the largest call for improved safety coming from women at 69% – 11 percentage points higher than men.
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’.
The survey made comparisons with other types of licensed premises – nightclubs, bars and pubs, restaurants, theatres, stadiums and arenas, and sports and social clubs.
For example, 76% of adults responded saying they want improved safety in bars and pubs, and 79% in nightclubs. The call for safety improvements in the other licensed premises included in the survey ranged between 52-65% of adults.
The survey, carried out between 16 August – 5 September 2021, also found that adults feel significantly less safe across all types of licensed premises included in the survey today than they did prior to the first national lockdown in March 2020. For example, the largest falls in feeling safe were in nightclubs – down from 81% pre-pandemic to 48% today and bars and clubs from 93% to 64%.
Pre-pandemic, hotels and guest houses were equal top with restaurants with 98% of adults feeling safe. Today, that feeling of safety has fallen to 77% for hotels and guest houses – which came in at third place with only theatres at 78% and restaurants at 81% receiving higher responses for feeling safe.
The survey also revealed that 22% of respondents would have visited hotels and guest houses more if they felt safer and the same percentage of adults are more likely to have visited such premises if they had been granted a Police Safety Award.
Of all the licensed premise categories in the survey, adults are most likely to check that hotels and guest houses are safe prior to visiting and whilst at the venue. A total of 36% of adults said they would check out safety in advance – a significantly higher percentage than in any other type of licensed premises where other responses ranged between 13-28%. Also, more adults are likely to carry out safety checks whilst at a hotel or guest house than in any other type of licensed premises, which ranged from 30% at hotels and guest houses to 16% at restaurants.
Top of the list of features that influences the perceived safety of hotels and guest houses upon arrival is overall ‘cleanliness and hygiene’ with 54% of respondents choosing this option. Next are the premises being well-lit (48%) followed by clearly marked fire exits (45%) and uniformed staff (37%).
These safety feature priorities are broadly the same once inside the hotel and guest house. A total of 57% of respondents look out for cleanliness and hygiene as the most important consideration followed by ensuring fire exits are clearly marked (53%) and checking the venue is well-lit and staff are easily identifiable both at 38%.
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.
Available as an on-line self-assessment, it provides definitive information on effective management practices and operational security as well as some straightforward safety measures, many of which can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost. It leads to a star-rating and venues can apply for an award, which can be displayed at their premises showing the efforts undertaken to enhance safety and security.
Licensing SAVI is the first ever National Policing Award in England and Wales and commenced its national roll out in October to 300 venues in West Yorkshire – a move that is being funded by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.
Mark Morgan, Business Manager for Licensing SAVI, and a former Police Superintendent, said: “There is a tremendous consistency in these results which show how important safety in licensed premises has become today for men and women – but particularly women.
“Clearly, hotels and guests houses are perceived as safe places to visit. It’s probably no surprise to learn that customers take care to check them out prior to visiting and to check out key safety aspects once inside the door, especially as they may be visiting with friends and family members too for a short or longer break.
“However, there is a clear demand from customers for safety in licensed premises to be improved and for our policing award, which is the first ever National Policing Award for licensed premises in England and Wales.
“Licensing SAVI enables licensed premises to carry out a health check on their venue and improve safety and security year on year. Many hotels operate busy bars, functions and events which will certainly benefit in terms of improved customer perceptions around safety if they also embrace the survey findings attributed to other types of licensed premises, which is where use of Licensing SAVI can help.
“This has got to be good for staff and customers – and good for business too. This is a clear requirement identified from the survey,” said Mark.
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About Police CPI
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) is a police-owned, not-for-profit organisation which delivers a wide range of innovative and ground-breaking crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives to support the UK Police Service, Government and the public. Senior police officers control and direct the work Police CPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service.
Women’s Night Safety Charter
In March 2021, as part of its commitment to providing safer and more secure venues through Licensing SAVI, Police CPI signed up to the Women’s Night Safety Charter, which seeks to make London a place where women feel ‘confident and welcome’ at night. It means Police CPI will actively support the Charter’s seven pledges and encourage other businesses and organisations in the capital to join in to tackle violence against women.