NIGHT-TIME economy venues across Barnsley are backing a police-led safety initiative to increase the security of their visitors.

Sixteen bars and clubs in the town centre are now accredited or awaiting accreditation as part of the Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative (LSAVI). Being part of Licensing SAVI means the signed-up premises have access to a digital self-assessment tool to help them raise standards and provide a safer, secure, warming environment for guests.

The on-going work aims to increase public safety through the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance, as well as protecting children from harm, with areas of focus including responsible drinking, drugs misuse, preventing violent behaviour against women and girls, safeguarding vulnerable customers, preventing opportunist theft and installing lighting and CCTV.

Barnsley Town Centre was a chosen area for the funding, provided by GRIP: a programme that focuses on problem-solving initiatives in areas experiencing high reports of violent crime, due to data reflecting violent crimes linked to the night-time economy.

Inspector of Barnsley Safer Neighbourhood Services Kieran Frain said: “I am pleased that bars and clubs across Barnsley are benefiting from the tools and resources available through Licensing SAVI.

“We want to increase everyone's safety, whether they are living, working, or visiting Barnsley, and supporting venues to deliver a vibrant and safe night-time economy is important to us.

“Venues are working hard to raise the standard by achieving Licensing SAVI accreditation and this collective effort is creating a network of safer venues across the town which can only be beneficial for the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Funny Gals, Secrets, Che Bar, Shakespeare, Butterfields, Digital, Eadens, Corner Pin, Bluu, Garrison, Black Velvet, Pour House, Chambers, Kestral, Joseph Bramah and Salt House are signed up to Licensing SAVI.

Inspector Frain continued: “Throughout policing, we know our efforts are stronger with our communities and partners’ support. To see venues taking a step towards our ultimate goal of protecting those within Barnsley is great and a reflection and a testament to the great spirit within Barnsley.

Adam Pumford, owner of Funny Gals and Wild Cats, and chairperson of Pub Watch said: “We value our customers, and we want to increase their safety when they are with us in an all inclusive way. By working together with other night-time economy bars through Pub Watch and Licensing SAVI, it naturally brings us together to be a collective. Any additional training we can give our staff, and support we can receive from the police and partners is welcomed to achieve that.”